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3 3433 08179768 4 





GREAT WAR 1861 -'65. 




(Lieut. Colonel Seventieth Regiment N. C. T. 

VOL. V. 












R 1 90^' L 




Zbis State 






Iberoic Momen of IRortb Carolina, 




Ubcir jfair iDaugbters, 


®ur Glorious H)ea&. 


JEqual to Dictorg— Superior to Defeat. 



Dedication, ; iii 

Review and Conclusion, by the Editor vii 

List of Historians and Contributors, hy the Editor. xviii 

Number op Troops prom North Carolina, hy the Editor 1 

Number OP Generals PROM North Carolina, by the Editor . . . 3 

Generals Commissioned by the State, by Lieut. E. A. Thome. . . 5 

North Carolinians on Military Courts, by the Editor 8 

General and Field Oppicers Killed, by Lieut. E. A. Thome. . . 9 
Where North Carolina Troops Stationed November 1861, 

hy Brigadier -General J. G. Martin 13 

Deeds of Daring — Six Heroes, hy Lieutenant- General D. H. Hill.. 15 

Other Deeds op Daring, hy the Editor 1? 

,A. North Carolina Heroine, hy Colonel S. L). Pool 19 

captures and battles. 

Capture of Forts Before the War, by Colonel Jno. L. CantwelL. 23 

Battle of Manassas, by Brigadier-General T. L. Clingman 29 

The Fall op Hatteras, by Major Thomas Sparrow 35 

Chicamacomico, by Lieutenant- Colonel E. C. Yellowley 55 

Loss op Roanoke Island, by Hon. Burgess S. Gaither, C. S. Congress, 57 

Fall op Roanoke Island, by Lieutenant-Colonel E. R. Liles 63 

Sharpsburg, by Lieutenant-Colonel Walter Clark 71 

Battle op White Hall, by Colonel S. D. Pool 83 

Flank March at Chancellorsville, by Brig. -Gen. J. H. Lane. . 93 

The Wounding of Jackson, hy Adjutant Spier Whitaker 96 

Another Account, by Captain A. H. H. Tolar 98 

Longstreet's Assault at Gettysburg, hy Maj. W. M. Bobbins . 101 
Pettigrew's Brigade at Gettysburg, by Captain Louis G. Young, 

A. A. 113 

Pettigrew's Charge at Gettysburg, hy Lieutenant- Colonel John 

T. Jones 133 

The Pettigrew-Pickett Charge, by Captain S. A. Ashe 137 

Defence of Fort Wagner, by Adjutant E. K. Bryan and Sergeant 

E. H. Meadoivs 161 

Chicamauga, by Captain C. A. Cilley, A. A. G., U. S. A 169 

Capture op Plymouth, by Major John W. Graham 175 

Second Cold Harbor, by Brigadier-General Thos. L. Clingman 197 

Reams Station, by Major Charles M. Stedman 207 

The Thin Gray Line, by Brigadier-General Bradley T. Johnson . . . 213 

Defence op Fort Fisher, hy Colonel William Lamb 217 

The Surrender at Appomattox, by Major-General Bryan Grimes, 247 

IV Contents. 

The Return fkom Appomattox, hy Lieutenant W. A. Montgomery 257 
Last Fifteen Days of Baker's Command, by Private James M. 

Mullen 269 

A Battle After the War, by Prioate R. Z. Linney 285 


Confederate Vessels in North I'arolina, by the Editor 298 

North Carolina Navy, hy Paymaster Adam Tredivell 299 

The Ram Albemarle, by Adjutant Gilbert Elliott 315 

Capture of the Underwriter, by Commander B. P. Loyall 325 

The Steamer Ad- Vance, by James Maglenn, Chief Engineer 385 

Running the Blockade, by Rev. Dr. Moses D. Hoge 341 

The Shenandoah, by An Officer Thereof 345 

Fight with Blockaders, by Colonel William Lamb 351 

Blockade Running, by Purser James Sprunt 353 

North Carolina's Financial Operations in England, by Com- 
missioner John White 453 

North Carolina's Record, by Governor Z. B. Vance 463 

Parole List at Appomattox, 482 

Comments on Parole List, by the Editor bldt 


First North Carolina Soldier to Die, by Private R. H. Bradley 578 

Sixth Regiment at Manassas, by Captain B. F. White . 581 

Report OF Siiarpsburg Battlefield Commissioners, 587 

First Regiment at Gettysburg, by Sergeant C. W. Rivenbark . . 595 

Unparallelled Loss, by Captain R. M. Tuttle 599 

Capture op Cemetery HiLt at Gettysburg, by Captain N. W. Ray 605 
Incident at Gettysburg, by Col. T. S. Kenan, C. S. A., and J. B. 

Callis, U. S. A., 611 

Planner's Batter y^ at the Crater, by Captain H. G. Planner. . .. 615 
Prisoners Under Fire at Morris Island, by Sergeant- Major C. 

M. Busbee 619 

Twenty-Sixth Battalion, by The Editor 626 

Company B, Tenth Virginia Cavalry, by Sergeant 11. R. Berrier 627 

The Home Guards, by Colonel James R. Cole 629 

Home Guards Face Stoneman, by Colonel T. George Walton 635 

Hillsboro Military Academy, by Cadet Captain William Cain . . . 637 

HiLLSBORO Military Academy, by Cadet J. George Hanna 643 

N. C. Military Institute, by Brigadier-General J. H. Lane 645 

University op N. C. in the War, by Dr. K. P. Buttle 647 

The Last Battle and the Last Surrender by Lieutenant- 
Colonel W. W. Stringfield 653 

Supplement to Appomattox Parole List 657 

Corrections 661 

Index to Appomattox Parole List 683 

Index to Illustrations 719 

General Index 729 


The last line of these five volumes having now been printed 
it is projDer to write a few lines in review and farewell to be 
prefixed to this, the last volume. 

The origin, the purpose and the scope of this work have 
been stated in the Preface to Vol. 1. and need not be re- 
peated. In the classic tongue of historic Greece the word 
oida, I have seen, is at the same time both the perfect tense of 
the verb eido, I see, and the present tense of the verb I know. 
That is, ''what I have seen I know." It is upon this idea 
that this work has been compiled. Tlie narrative is not by 
one historian writing at second hand from information de- 
rived from many sources. But herein the narratives are by 
participants who have written from the personal knowledge 
of themselves or of their immediate comrades and largely 
of scenes of which they were eye witnesses. 

Their contributions have l)een laboriously gathered by them 
from conference, or corres])ondence, with surviving comrades 
and diligently compared with the original reports published 
in the "Official Records of the Union and Confederate Ar- 
mies." As a further assurance of accuracy these sketches 
were printed in the newspapers and criticisms and correc- 
tions requested. It may be stated here that the dates affixed 
are mostly arbitrary for the majority of the regimental 
sketches were written in 1895, l)ut being revised again and 
again down to the time each went to press, the date 9 April, 
1900 or 1901, was affixed to those organizations from the 
Army of ISTorthern Virginia and 26 April to those from the 
Army of the West, these being the anniversaries of the 
surrender of the respective armies. A few articles writ- 
ten by persons who died before the beginning of this work 
have been rej^roduced where the name of the writer or the 
subject matter has given them special interest. 

The writers herein number 180 and represent every grade 
in the Army from Lieutenant General to private, and em- 
brace not only men who have filled almost every vocation in 

viii Review and Conclusion. 

life since the war but those who have occupied every civil office 
from IT. S. Senator and Governor to constable. Farmers, 
lawyers, preachers, physicians, manufacturers, teachers, edi- 
tors, day laborers have each and all freely contributed their 
time and labor to preserve herein the memorials of what 
their comrades did and suffered at the command of North 
Carolina during those four eventful years the memory of 
which can never be forgotten. 

Among the brave men who have traced the lines in these 
volumes are soldiers who heard the first shriek of shell at 
Bethel in the first real battle of the war 10 June, 1861, and 
whose ears caught the patter of minies as Cox's brigade fired 
the last volley at Appomattox 9 April, 1865 and who missed 
but little of the musi,c of Avar between those dates. Among 
tliese writers are some who heard the o];)ening guns at Sum- 
ter 13 April, 1861 ; many who heard the crash of A. P. Hill's 
musketry on that sultry summer's eve as he drove back Burn- 
side at Shar])sbnrg and who listened to the long, low mono- 
tone of artillery at Gettysburg so steady and unbroken as to 
seem the ])r()l()nge(l reverberation of a single broadside; eyes 
now dim saw the Southern night lightened with shell and mor- 
tar over doomed Vicksburg; limbs now stift' stepped fast and 
cheerily as the echoes of Jackson's cannon rolled along the 
silver Shenandoah. Such another gathering can not be 
found in any other work and could not be duplicated now for 
nearly one in every ten has passed beyond the pale since 
their articles were penned. Their comrades of whose deeds 
they wrote slee]\ many of them, where the Georgian pines 
are bare, others l)v the Mississippi, the Cumberland, the 
Ohio, the Kanawha and where Potomac's breezes whispering 
low soothe many a soldier's endless sleep. 

With a devotion to duty, only to be expected of such men, 
they have written these volumes and deserve the grateful re- 
membrance of their countrymen for this scarcely less thp.n 
for the gallant deeds they aided to perform and which but for 
their pens would have been unrecorded. 

While these articles have ])een necessarily written from 
the stand]3oint of each writer which by a natural law makes 
each object and event near us seem larger and more impor- 

Review and Conclusion. ix 

tant than those farther oft", still there has been a strenuous 
and j)ainstaking effort to be accurate and truthful to the 
smallest detail. The work of such men could not be other 
than reliable. Any errors come from the lack of perspective 
incident to every narrative by an eye witness. 

The articles are 254 in number exclusive of 165 pages em- 
braced in the three Indexes, i. e. Index to Appomattox Pa- 
role List, Index to Illustrations and the General Index. 
These Indexes include some 17,000 names, a very large part 
■of which are cited more than once. 

The history of each of our 84 regiments (which includes the 
''Bethel" Regiment) is written by a member thereof except 
the sketches of four of the Senior Reserves Regiments and 
two of the Detailed men of which no suiwivors could be found. 
The history of each of our twenty-six Battalions is also given. 
The history of each brigade is written by a member thereof 
iind a valuable series of Battles, giving ISTorth Carolina's 
part therein is furnished by participants on the respective 
occasions. The articles on Gettysburg by Major W. M. 
I^obbins, Captain Louis G. Young, Captain S. A. Ashe 
and Lieutenant-Colonel John T. Jones as to the assault 
on Cemetery Ridge and by Captain X. W. Ray on the 
capture of Cemetery Hill are of exceptional value. An ac- 
count of jSTorth Carolina's share in the Xavy is herein pre- 
served including the story of the cruise of the Shenandoah, 
C()]nmanded by a gallant Xorth Carolinian who flew the 
Confederate battle emblem at her mast head till 6 JN'ovem- 
ber, 1865, nearly seven months after Lee's surrender. 

The ex])crience of ju-isoners of war is graphically told in- 
cluding an account of those who were exposed to the fire of 
our own batteries at Morris Island. Governor Vance's 
rnemoralde speech narrating the State's record in the war, 
also the report of our agent sent to England to procure sup- 
plies are reproduced. The history of the State's steamer, the 
"Ad-Vairce" and a most interesting story by Mr. Sprunt of 
the incidents of the system of Blockade-running by which 
we were so long enabled to continue the war are printed for 
the first time. 

Every subject is touched upon save the story of the sacri- 

X Review and Conclusion. 

llces, the services, the sufferings of our glorious and heroic 
women. The flight of time and the invincible modesty of 
the sex prevented our securing one of themselves to narrate 
tliat story and no man felt that his pen was equal to the por- 
trayal. Like Emmett's epitaph, it must remain unwritten 
but its abiding remembrance is in the hearts of the soldiery 
of the South. The dedication prefixed to the completed 
work in this last volume comes from the heart. They are 
not perfunctory words, but the exj^ression of the sentiments 
of the more than 125,000 soldiers, living and dead, whom 
North Carolina sent to the front. 

The pay of the Confederate soldier in the depreciated cur- 
rency w^as wholly inadequate to be of any assistance to those 
dependent upon him at home. Mention has already been 
made of the cotton cards and other supplies brought in 
tlirougli the blockade and distributed by the State to soldiers' 
v.'ives. In most, if not all the counties, the county authorities 
procured supplies of corn, meat and salt which were stored in 
warehouses and dispensed weekly by boards of elderly citi- 
zens to the mothers, wives and children who needed assis- 
tance. This was not charity but just compensation to those 
who were absent flghting for the State without pay. 
Where the counties neglected this just measure there were 
of course large nund3ers of desertions. The soldier felt it 
but just tliat the government should see that his aged mother, 
his dependent wife and children were provided for by the 
State since at its command they were deprived of his labor. 
The salt was procured from the works at Saltville, Virginia, 
or from the ocean near Wilmington, the counties raising the 
funds by the issue of what was known as "Salt bonds." By 
what now seems a singular decision the Supreme Court of 
the State, in the Reconstruction era, held the bonds thus is- 
sued in aid of the destitute and suffering women and chil- 
dren of the State void "'because issued in aid of the Rebel- 

A most interesting chapter might have been added of the 
operation of the "'Tax in kind" by which provisions Avere 
obtained for the support of our armies, but as that would 
have required much elaboration and was a matter concerning 

Review and Conclusion. xi 

the xVrmy as a whole rather than the North Carolina Regi- 
ments and Battalions, the subject has not been treated herein. 

A series of extracts from the Executive Letter Books and 
the files of the Adjutant-General's office 1861-5 would have 
added interest to this work, but it had already swelled to five 
volumes, and this as well as some other valuable nuitter was 
necessarily foregone. 

The legend on the cover is no idle boast, but is based upon 
evidence given herein that is deemed worthy to be presented 
to the great jury of the public and of posterity. Major 
Hale's history of the ''Bethel" regiment proves, (if it had 
ever been called in question) North Carolina's claim to be 
the First at Bethel. The histories herein by Brigadier Gen- 
eral Cox, i\Iajor General Grimes and by Colonel Frank Par- 
ker of the Thirtieth regiment abundantly establish that the 
volley of (?ox's Brigade, of Grimes' Division vas the Last at 
Appomattox, the last shots being fired by the Thirtieth Regi- 
ment belonging to that brigade. The last capture of guns 
by that gallant army was the 1 Napoleons taken by Roberts' 
North Carolina Cavalry brigade the morning of the sur- 

Davidson's history of the Thirty-ninth regiment, as well 
as Major Harper's history of the Fifty-eighth and Colonel 
Ray's of the Sixtieth fully demonstrate that our North Caro- 
lina soldiers were Farthest to the front at Chicamauga and 
they are corroborated by Ca])tain C. A. Cilley's report, here- 
in reprinted, who was a Staff Officer of Vanderveer's Brigade 
which faced our North Carolinians on that well fought field. 

At Grttystmrg the history of the Fifty-fifth Regiment by 
Adjutant C. M. Cooke shows that it went farthest to the 
front on Cemetery Ridge. The best proof of how far a line 
of battle went is where it left its dead and wounded. These 
derelicts cast up by the bloody wave of war were found farth- 
est in the front of that gallant regiment and this is shown by 
the battlefield map prepared by the authority of the United 
States government after years of careful investigation of 
official reports and living witnesses from both armies. A 
copy of this official map, on a reduced scale is printed in this 

xii Review and Conclusion. 

The number of troops this State furnished is shown here- 
in from official records to have been over 125,000 and a full 
one fifth of the total force of the Confederacy. The losses 
of this State were over 41,000 by death on the battlefield or 
from wounds, being the largest loss sustained l)y any South- 
ern State. Though K'orth Carolina furnished one-fifth of 
the troops, it also appears that instead of one-fifth of the gen- 
eral officers being appointed from this State not one third of 
the pro rata, which was her due, received the promotion they . 
so well deserved. Yet by the general opinion in the Army 
Pender, Hoke, Pettigrew and perhaps others, were as com- 
petent to command corps and as much deserved promotion as 
TcUy who received the appointment of Lieutenant-General at 
the hands of the Confederate government. Brigadier-Gen- 
erals Clingiuan, Lane, James B. Gordon, Matt. W. Ransom, 
Scales, and others merited being made Major-Generals, and 
the State had many gallant sons who well earned promotion to 
Brigadier-General Among many such, it may not be invid- 
ious to name Major E. J. Hale, who (General Lane being ab- 
sent wounded) planned the successful movement at Fuzzell's 
]yiills and virtually commanded his brigade at Reams Station, 
a South Carolinian (General Conner) being nominally in 
command — Colonel R. Tyler Bennett, the hero of the Bloody 
Lane at Sharpsburg — Colonel David Coleman in the Army of 
the West (to which we sent eight regiments and had no Briga- 
dier after General Vance's capture in 1863) — Colonel Lno. S. 
McElroy of the Sixteenth, Colonel W. H. Cheek of the 
Xinth (First Cavalry) and Colonel T. M. Garrett of the 
Fifth all of whom w^ere recommended for this promotion. 
These and many others, whether recommended or not, de- 
served the honor and were entitled to receive it both on their 
own merits and from the number of troops furnished by this 
State. But N'orth Carolina was modest, as she always is, 
and did not receive just recognition which has ever been 
her fate, alike in war and peace. 

The following admirable summary of the services of our 
soldiers is taken from a recent speech by the eloquent Henry 
A. London, now Senator from Chatham, who at the surren- 
der at Appomattox, w^as a member of the Thirty-second Regi- 

Review and Conclusion. xiii 

ment and courier to General Grimes, and carried to General 
Cox the order for the last volley fired by that gallant army. 
His words deserve preservation. 

"With a white population in 1800 of 629,942 and 115,000 
voters, North Carolina sent 125,000 soldiers to the Confed- 
erate armies, composing eighty-four regiments and eigh- 
teen battalions. Three of these regiments were artillery, 
eight cavalry and seventy-three infantry. Several of the bat- 
talions were artillery and cavalry. Over 41,000 were killed 
or died in the service. There were seven Major-Generals 
from this State, of whom three were killed, namely: Pen- 
der, Ramseur and Whiting. There were twenty-six Brig- 
adier Generals from this State ; four of whom were killed 
and the others, almost without exception, were wounded. 

"The first victory was won by North Carolina troops at 
Bethel on 10 June, 1861, and they fired the last volley at 
Appomattox Court House. 

''At Gettysburg 2,592 Confederates were killed and 
12,707 wounded, and 3,155 Federals were killed and 
14,529 were wounded. Of the killed 770 were North 
Carolinians, 435 Georgians, 399 Virginians, 258 Mis- 
sissippians, 217 South Carolinians and 204 Alabamians. 
The three brigades which lost more killed than any others 
in that battle were Pettigrew's North Carolina (which lost 
190 killed) Davis', composed of three Mississippi and oi'.e 
North Carolina regiment, which lost 180, and Daniel's North 
Carolina brigade, which lost 165 killed. Pickett's entire 
division lost 214 killed. No brigade in Pickett's division 
lost as many killed and wounded as the Twenty-sixth North 
Carolina regiment, whose loss was 86 killed and 502 
wounded, which was the heaviest loss of any regiment in 
either army in any battle of the war. There were sixteen 
brigades of Confederates in the first day's battle, of which 
seven were from North Carolina. In what is called 'Pick- 
etts' charge there were nineteen Virginia regiments and fif- 
teen North Carolinians. At Beams Station, in August, 
1864, after the first efforts of other Confederates had failed, 
the three North Carolina brigades of Cooke, Lane and Mac- 

xiv Review and Conclusion. 

Rae, consisting of only 1,750 men, routed the enemy and 
captured 2,100. 

"Among- the regiments which suffered the heaviest losses 
were the following: The Fifth jSTorth Carolina at Williams- 
burg, the Fourth at Seven Pines, the Third at Sharpsburg^ 
the Twenty-sixth at Gettysburg and the Twenty-seventh at 
Bristoe Station. At Williamsburg the Fifth lost in killed, 
wounded and missing 197 out of 240. At Seven Pines the 
Fourth went into battle with twenty-five oflicers and 520 
non-commissioned officers and privates, and lost in killed and 
wounded every officer except one and 462 men. At Sharps- 
burg the Third lost in an hour and a half 330 out of 520. 
At Bristoe the Twenty-seventh lost in less than half an 
hour 291 out of 420. At Sharpsburg Company C, of the 
Fourteenth North Carolina regiment lost in killed and 
wounded every man of the forty-five present, and at Chan- 
cellorsville the same company carried in forty-three men and 
all were killed or wounded except one and a minie ball had 
lodged in his haversack. Company F of the Twenty-sixth 
lost at Gettysburg every man out of eighty-seven, except one 
and he was knocked down by the concussion of a shell. 

"jSTo troops were better armed and equipped than those 
from Xorth Carolina, and our State was the only one that 
clothed her troops during the entire war. Also furnished 
clothing for otlier troops, and at the surrender had 92,000 
suits of uniforms on hand and gi'eat stores of blankets and 
leather : was the only State that was engaged in direct trade 
witli England and running the blockade. At the close of the 
war North Carolina's commissary was feeding about half of 
Lee's army. 

"The day after the battle of Manassas Secretary of War 
Benjamin telegraphed Governor Clark that there was not 
enough powder for another day's fight, and requested him to 
obtain nitre, which he did. In the fall of 1861 Secretary 
Benjamin wrote Governor Clark that it was not necessary to 
make large contracts for military supplies for any long time, 
as the war would not last long, but the Governor soon after- 
wards sent an agent to England to buy arms." 

Over 900 engravings of officers and men, representing 

Review and Conclusion. xv 

them, as they looked in those days, give added interest to 
tliese volumes. Nearly one hundred of these — mostly pri- 
■\'ates (for no line has been drawn at rank) — have been sent in 
by Judge A. W. Graham. He was too young to be in the army 
himself, but he had .five brothers in the service, each of whom 
Avas wounded and four of whom have contributed articles to 
this work. A very large part of the other photographs have 
been sent in by the mothers, wives and daughters of soldiers 
who with a devotion known only to a \vomaj]'s heart have pre- 
served these mementoes of a long-buried past, ofttimes the 
only relic of their dead, and taking them from their sacred 
repositories have had them engraved, a cost they could oft 
not afford, that jxjsterity might look upon the lineaments of 
the brave who could merit such fidelity. 

The engraving of the photographs could not have been 
procured but for the assistance of that patriotic Southerner, 
iVIajor C. L. Patton, of A^ew York City, President of the 
University Publishing Company, wlio without leward or 
the hope of reward, undertook the supervision of ihe work 
of engraving, securing the lowest possible cost for the Veter- 
ans and providing, at his own expense, the clerical force to con- 
duct the correspondence, receiving the photographs and re- 
turning them to their respective owners, grouping the en- 
gravings and attending to every detail till the last sheet was 
printed oif and shipped us. Had he been a native North 
Carolinian he could not have done more. Our thanks are 
also due to his accomplished clerk, who chiefly conducted this 
matter. Miss P. S. Adams. To rare business accuracy she 
has added a woman's sympathetic assistance in this work. 
The engi-avings of all the thirty-five North Carolina Gen- 
erals have been made at Major Patton's own expense for 
those volumes. Fuller investigation in the Confederate 
Archives having shown that Major-General Jeremy P. Gil- 
iiier and Brigadier-General Gabriel J. Rains were appoint- 
ed from this State, their names have been added to the thirty- 
three JSTorth Carolina generals given in the preface to Vol. 
I, and engravings of them have been inserted in this volume. 

To Colonel William Lamb, the gallant defender of Fort 
Fisher, we are indebted for the full page engraving of the 

xvi Review and Conclusion. 

''Bombardment of Fort Fisher" (the frontispiece to Vol. 5), 
the full page engraving of the ''Mound Battery" and other 
engravings. To Mr. James Sprunt the writer of the val- 
uable article on "Blockade Running" we are indebted for the 
full page engravings of the "Steamer Ad-Vance," the "Shen- 
andoah" and other engravings, and we owe to Colonel Thos. 
S. Kenan, of the Forty-third regiment, the frontispiece to 
Vol. 4 "Johnson's Island" (a description of which may be 
found in his personal reminiscences of prison life on page 
689 of that volume) and also for a full page engraving of 
C(^mpany A of his regiment. The only other engraving of 
a full company is that furnished by Captain C. B. Denson 
in the Twentieth Regiment. 

JSTumerous majDS are given which add much to the easy 
comprehension of the narratives. The two maps of Gettys- 
burg and that of the capture of Plymouth are especially val- 

This work undertaken more than seven years ago has been 
prosecuted with many hindrances. It would be bootless to 
relate the tribulations attending such an undertaking. Its 
merits are due to the efforts of the self-sacrificing patri- 
otic men who have written the several histories composing 
it. Its short-comings are due to the Editor and the limita- 
tions which the lapse of time and untoward circumstances 
have imposed. 

For better, for worse, the record is now made up. The last 
word to the present age or posterity has been said and al- 
ready the voices of many who have spoken are stilled in 

On several r)ccasions, the Confederacy was on the very eve 
of success, but some unexpected fatality intervened. At Shi- 
loh within a half hour of the capture of the Federal Army 
with Grant and Sherman at its head, a single bullet which 
caused the death of Albert Sidney Johnston changed the his- 
tory of the Continent. At Chancellorsville, one scattering 
volley fired by mistake of his own men took the life of Stone- 
wall Jackson, when but for that fatality the capture of 
Hooker and his whole army was inevitable. The unexpected 
humiliation of the Federal Government in surrendering 

Review and Conclusion. xvii 

Mason and Slidell to British threats avoided a war with that 
power and with it the independence of the South, which 
would have come with the command of the seas which was 
within the power, at that time, of Britain's fleet. If Stuart's 
cavalry had been on hand at Gettysburg, or even a competent 
Corps commander to have held our gains of the first two days, 
in all human probability the war would have ended in a great 
Southern victory at that spot. Had Mr. Davis, when he sent 
his commissioners to Englanci to negotiate a loan of $15,000,- 
000, acceded to the pressure of foreign capitalists to make it 
$000,000,000, not only would the Southern finances not have 
broken down (which was the real cause of our defeat) and 
Southern troops have been amply supplied, but European 
governments would have intervened in favor of Southern In- 
dependence ere they would have suffered their influential 
capitalists to lose that sum. They have always intervened 
ererywhere for such cause. 

There were other occasions besides when a contrary event 
vould have brought about Independence. Xo troops in all 
history have fought better nor has any people shown better 
military qualities. But, as jSTapier said of Xapoleon, "For- 
tune, that name for the unknoirn comhinations of an infinite 
power, was wanting to us and without her aid, the desigms of 
man are as bubbles on a troubled ocean." 

Historical experience in other countries has been that the 
disbanded soldiers after a long war, having contracted habits 
of idleness, have been a source of long continued disturbance. 
Xot so with the Confederate veterans who at once went to 
work to repair the ravages of war and rebuild the fortunes 
of their sorely devastated country. Xot only that, but they 
were the mainstay of order and in many places when the 
discarded camp-followers of the other side were not restrain- 
ed by the commanders of that army, these were sternly given 
to understand that if order was not otherwise maintained, 
tlie ex-Confederates could and would establish it. 

Unawed by garrisons of the victorious army, and unse- 
dueed by the blandishments and temptations offered them, 
these soldiers of a Lost Cause took their stand for Anglo- 

xviii Review and Conclusion. 

Saxon civilization and saved the South from the fate of 
Hayti and the West Indies. Their services in the years suc- 
ceeding- the war were as truly great and as worthy of lasting 
gratitude as those rendered from 1861 to 1865. 

The youngest who wore the gray have crossed the crest of 
the narrow ridge that divides two great oceans and already, 
like Balboa, they have descried from the western slope the 
wide waste of waters which reaches beyond the sunset. Xot 
many years shall pass ere the last of those who followed the 
fortunes of Lee and Jackson, of Johnston and Forrest shall 
have set sail on that shoreless sea, and the last footfall of the 
tread of the old Confederate regiments whose march shook a 
Continent shall be echoing in eternity. Then these volumes 
?]iall preserve to a distant posterity the memory of a courage 
and a patriotism and a spirit of self-sacrifice which our sons 
should not willingly let die. 

My Comrades, to have been deemed worthy of labor for 
you and with you is honor enough for any man. To one and 
all I give my thanks for your groat patience and your U7i- 
failing courtesy. 

Raleigh, N. C, ' / .i:2^ 

31 December, 1901. 

Errata. — There are over 1,000 engravings (instead of 900 as above 
stated) of which 13 are full page engravings and there are 32 maps. 


By the editor. 

For information, to tlie following list of contribntors is appended a memo- 
randum of the occupation of each since the war. Where one has held official 
position, only the higliest is given. There are 179 writers exclusive of the 
editor and :ii54 articles, including those written by him. The writers held, 
it will be noted, every position in the army from Lieutenant-General to pri- 
vate, and since the war have distributed themselves among nearly all the 
professions and ordinary occupations of life. 

Aiken, R. A., Captain Vol. IV, p. 117 

Merchant, Murphy, N. C. 

Albright. Jno G., Lieutenant IV — 99 

Merchant, County Commissioner. Died 1890. 

Alexander, J. W., Lieut -Commander C. S. N .IV — 733 

Died Liucolnton. N. C, 1898. 

Ashe, S. A. , Captain A. A. G V— 137 

Member Gen. Assembly 1870. Ed. Observer, Lawyer, Raleigh, 
N. C. 

Avery, A C, Major 1—337, IV— 371 

Judge Superior Court 1878-1889, Judge Supreme Court 1889- 
1897. Morganton, N. C. 

Bailey, Isaac H. , Captain Ill— 447 

In Business, Bakersville, N. C. 

Barringer, Rufus, Brigadier-General I — 417 

State Senator 1852, Chairman Rep. St. Exec. Com. Died 3 Feb- 
ruary, 1895. 

Battle, Kemp. P., Member Con v. 1861 V — 647 

Public Treasurer 18ti()-'7, President University 1875; Prof. 
History University N. C. since 1891. 

Beall, Jas. F, Major 11—129 

Member Gen. Ass. 1883. Physician, Davidson County. 

Bennett, R. T., Colonel 1—705 

Judge Superior Court 1880, M. C. 1880-'84. 

Berrier, H. R., Sergeant V — 627 

Farmer, Davidson County. 

Betts, a. D , Chaplain IV— 597 

Methodist Minister, Sampson County, N. C. 

Bradley, Robt. H., Private V — 577 

Marshal Supreme Court since 1879. 

Brenizer, A G, Colonel IV— 131 

Bank Officer, Charlotte, N. C. 

Broadfoot, Chas. W.. Colonel IV — 9 

Member Gen. Ass. N. C, 1870-72, Lawyer, Fayetteville. 

Brown, H. A., Colonel 1—185 

Prominent Citizen and Capitalist, Columbia, Tenn. 

Brown, T. J. , Major 11—789 

In business, Winston, N. C. 

Bryan, E. K., Adjutant II— 507, V— 161 

In business, New Bern, N. C. 

XX Historians and Contributors. 

BuRGWY-N, W. H. S. . Captain 11—591, IV— 481, 569 

Col. 7th Md. Regt., Col. 2nd N. C. Regiment Spanish War, Au- 
thor Md. Digest, Lawyer, Bank President, Weldon, N. C. 

BusBEE, Fabius H , Lieutenant IV — 583 

U. S. District Attorney, Raleigh, N. C. 

BusBEE, C. M.. Sergeant-Major 1—281, V— 619 

State Senator 1874, Grand Sire Odd Fellows 1890, President 
State Bar Association 1901-2, Raleigh, N. C. 

Caho, W. T. , Sergeant Ill— 725 

State Senator 1874, Lawyer, Bayboro, N. C. 

Cain, William, Cadet Captain V— 637 

I'rofessor University of N. C, Chapel Hill. 

Callis, G. B., Brigadier General U. S. A., V— 611 

Member CouKitss Wisconsin. Died 1897 

Cantwell, Jno. L , Colonel IV— 721, V— 23 

Veteran also Mexican War, Secretary . Produce Exchange, Wil- 
mington, N. C. 

Carr, Julian S., Private IV — 581 

One of Founders Blackwell's Mfg ' o.. Commander State Veterans As- 
sociaiiou, Millionaire. Durham, N. C. 

Cathey, B. H. , Lieutenant I — 751 

In business. Bryson City, N. C. 

Cheek, W. H., Colonel 1—445, 775 

Lawyer, Henderson, N. C. Died 23 March, 1901. 

CiLLEY, C. A , Captain U. S. A V— 169 

Judge Superior Court N. C. 1867-8. Died 1898. 

Clingman, Thomas L., Brigadier-General V— 29, 197 

Resigned from U. S. Senate 1861, to join C. S. A. Died 3 No- 
vemt)er, 1897. 

CoLE, James R., Colonel . . .V— 629 

Supt. Military School, Dallas, Texas. 

CooKE, Charles M., Adjutant Ill— 287 

State Senator 1874; Solicitor 1877-8; Secretary of State 1895-7; 
Lawyer, Louisburg, N. C. 

Cowan. John, Captain 1—177 

Secretary Board of Audit and Finance, Wilmington, N. C. 
Died 1900. 

Cox, W. R., Brigadier-General IV — 443 

Judge Super.or Court 1877-80; M. C. 1881-87; Secretary U. S. 
Senate 1894-1900; Farmer and Lawyer, Edgecombe Co., N. C. 

Cross, J. F. , Lieutenant IV — 703 

Farmer, Sunbury, N. C. 

Gumming, James D., (.'aptain IV — 861 

in business Brooklyn, N. Y. Died January, 1902. 

Daves, Graham, Adjutant II — 161 

Author and Man of Letters, New Bern, N. C. 

Davidson, Jno. M. , 11—727 

R. R. Agent, Farmer. Kingston, Georgia. 

Davidson, Theo. F. , Lieutenant ... II — 699 

Att'y General N. C. 1884-92; Mayor of Asheville 1895. 

Davis, T. C. Sergeant 11—745 

Postmaster, Morehcad, N. C. 

Denson, C. B., Captain IV— 409 

Teacher, Sec'y N. C. Ag'l. Society, Raleigh, N. C. 

DeRossett. W. L. , Colonel I — 215 

Commander State Veteran Association 1896-7, Wilmington, N. C. 

Dixon, B. F. , Captain Ill— 151 

State Auditor N. C. 1901; Major Second N. C. Reg't 1898 (Span- 
ish War). 

Historians and Contributors. xxi 

Ellington, J. C. , Lieutenant Ill — 161 

Civil Engineer City of Raleigti. 

Elliott, Chas. G., Captain IV— 527 

Treasurer N. & C. R. R. Died 14 August, 1901. 

Elliott, Gilbert, Adjutant V — 315 

Lawyer, St. Louis, Mo., and New York. Died 9 May, 1895. 

Evans, .1. W., Corporal Ill— 713 

Register of Deeds Dare Co., Merchant, Manteo, N. C. 

Ferguson, Garland S. , Lieutenant ... II — 291 

Solicitor 12th District 1879-1892, State Senator 1876, Waynes- 
ville, N. C. 

Flanner, Henry G. . Captain V — 617 

Druggist, Wilmington, N. C. Died 1885. 

Flowers, Geo. W., Lieutenant- Colonel ... II — 675 

Merchant, Taylorsville, N. C. 

Frazier, F. C, Lieutenant IV — 335 

Farmer, High Point, N. C. 

Gaither, Bi'rgess S , V — 57 

Member Congress C. S., Lawyer, Morganton, N. C. Died 1892. 

Galloway, Jno. M Ill— 529 

Prominent Citizen, Madison, N. C. 

Gordon, A., Major 1—3, 23, 37, 39, 45 

Planter, Hulda, La. 

Graham, James A. , Captain 11—425, IV— 501 

Lawyer, State Senator 1872; Washington, D. C. 

Graham, John W , Major V — 1 75 

Member State Convention 1868; State Senator 1868-'9; and 
1876-'77; Lawyer, Hillsboro, N. C. 

Graham, Robt D. , Captain Ill— 313 

Chief of Bureau, Dept. Interior; Lawyer, Washington, D. C. 

Graham, W. A. Major 1—50, II— 79 

Planter. Lincoln Co.. N. C. Several times in N. C. Legislature, 
President Farmers' Alliance. Son of Hon. W. A. Graham, 
C. S. Senator and brother of Major Jno. W. Graham, Captain 
Robert D. Graham and Captain Jas. A. Graham, who are also 
Historians in this work. 

Green, AVharton J., Lieutenant-Colonel IV — 243 

Member of Congress 1883-87; Farmer, Fayetteville, N. C. 

Grimes. Bryan, Major General V — 247 

Farmer, Pitt County; Assassinated 14 August, 1880. 

Grizzard, James M., Captain IV — 645 

Member Gen. Ass. 1895; Lawyer. Died 1901. 

Hale, E. J . Major 1—69 

Consul to Manchester, England ; Ed. Fayetteville Observer. 

Hampton, E. R , Hospital Steward IV— 385 

Clerk U. S. Dist. Court 1870-1884. Lawyer, Sylva, N. C. 

Hannah, J. George V— 643 

Insurance Agent, Slier City, N. C. 

Harper, G. W. F., Major Ill— 431 

In Gen. Ass. 1881; Prest. Lenoir N. G. R. R. 1894; Prest. Bank 
Lenoir, N. C. 

Habrill, L. . Captain I — 771 

Prominent Physician. Statesville, N. C. 

Habbis, J. S. . Capt. , 1—361 

Wounded three times. Merchant, Davidson College, N. C. 

Hill, D. H , Lieutenant-General V— 15 

President Uni. of Arkansas. Died 25 September, 1889. 

Hill, Joshua B. , Sergeant 11—767 

U. S. Marshal, Raleigh, N. C. 

XXII Historians and Contributors. 

HiNES, Peter E., Surgeon IV— 623 

Prominent Physician, Raleigh, N. C. 

Hinsdale John W. , Colonel IV — 35 

Prominent Lawyer, Raleigh, N. C. 

HoGE, Rev. Dr. Moses D . V— 341 

Presbyterian Minister, Richmond, Va. Died 6 January, 1898. 

Holt. E. J., Lieutenant IV— 91, 580 

Sheriff Johnston Co.; Member Gen. Ass. 1874-8; Merchant, 

Johnson, Bradley T., Brigadier-General V — 213 

Lawyer, Baltimore, Md. 

Johnston, Jos. F. , Lieutenant IV — 531 

Governor of Alabama 1898-'9. 

Jones, Hamilton C, Colonel Ill — 405 

state Senator 1809-1871; U. S. Dist. Atty. 1884-88; Lawyer; Char- 
lotte, N. C. 

Jones, John T. , Lieutenant-Colonel V — 133 

Killed May, 1864, at the Wilderness. 

Kearney, H. C, Lieutenant I — 733 

Sheriff of Franklin Co. since 1878, Louisburg, N. C. 

Kenan, Thos. S., Colonel Ill— 1, 19, IV— 689, V— 611 

Attorney-General 1876-1884; Clerk Supreme Court since 1887, 
Raleigh, N. C. 

Kennedy, John T., Colonel IV— 71, 370 

Member Gen. Ass., Farmer, Goldsboro, N. C. 

Lamb, William. Colonel 11-629, V— 317, 351 

Prominent business man, Norfolk, Va. 

Lamb, Wilson G., Lieutenant II — 1 

Merchant, Wllliamston, N. C. 

Lane, James H., Brigadier-General 11—465, IV— 465, V— 93, 645 

Prof. A. & M. College, Auburn, Ala. 

Lattimore. Thos. D., II — 581 

Clerk Superior Court Cleveland Co.; Treasurer Manufacturing 
Co., Shelby, N. C. 

Lawhon, W. H. H, Captain III-113 

Meni!)er Gen. Ass. 1897; Baptist Minister, Moore Co., N. C. 

LiLES, E. R., Lieutenant-Colonel ... V— 63 

Farmer, Anson Co. Died about 1894. 

LiNNEY, Romulus Z., V— 285 

State Senator; M. C; Lawyer, Taylorsville, N. C. 

London, Henry A., Private II — 531 

Courier who carried last order to charge at Appomattox; Ed. 
Chatham Record; State Senator 1901. Pittsboro, N. C. 

London, W. L., Captain IV — 513 

Merchant, Pittsboro, N. C. 

LoYALL, B. P., Commander C. S. N., V— 325 

Resides Norfolk, Va. 

LuDWiG, H. T. L, Drummer 1—387 

Professor Mount Pleasant College, N. C, 1871-1900. Died 28 
July, 1900. 

LusK, Virgil S., IV— 371 

Member (ien. Ass. 1895-1897; U. S. Dist. Atty 1868-1884; Law- 
yer. Asheville, N. C. 

MacRae, J. C. Major 1—281, IV— 379 

Judge Superior Court N. C. 1882-1892; Judge Supreme Court 
1892-5: Prof. Law Uni. of N. C, Chapel Hill, N. C. 

MacRae, Walter G., Captain IV— 713 

Sheriff of New Hanover; Civil Engineer. Wilmington, N. C. 

Maglenn, James, Chief Engineer V — 335 

Master Machinist. Hamlet, N. C. 

Historians and Contributors. xxiii 

T 1 K7 

Manly, Matt., Captain ^ 

Mayor and Postmaster at New Bern. 

Mangum, a. W., Chaplain. . . . .■ ... -••-••■ -^ IV— 745 

Methodist Minister; Prof. Uni. N. C. Died 1890. 

Martin Jas. G., Brigadier-General a. v, ; a: ^~ ^ 

^'^^^"^,Vaduate West^ Point; Lawyer, Asheville, N. C. Died 4 Octo- 
ber, 1878. 

^"^"p\-oXsso^r'un'^°N'^C.- and "Davidson ' Co-llege. Died 2.3 •March. "^ 

Maxwell, David G. , Captain IV— 405 

In business, Charlotte, N. C. 
McDowell, B. G , Lieutenant-Colonel Ill— 515 

Atty at Law, Bristol, Tenn. 

McKethan, a. a.. Lieutenant • ^- ' ' :: ' '■i}}^~~'^^^ 

Clerk Superior Court Cumberland; Manufacturer; FayetteviUe, 
N. C. 

McKiNNE, David E., Captain IV— 25 

Merchant, Princeton, N. C. 

McLaukin, W. H , Adjutant H" ^^ 

Farmer, Laurinburg, N. C. 

McNeill, Thos. A o x ' i " ; ' " ' W W IV-303 

Judge Superior Court, 1898. Lumberton, N. C. 

Meadows, E. H., Sergeant ... ... ...••■ • ■ • ■ II-^p^"^' ^'"^^^ 

In business and Bank and R. R. Director. New Bern, N. C. 

Means, Paul B., Private • ■ • HI— 545 

Member Gen. Ass. 1874-^; btate Senator 18a5 and 1889; Lawyer. ( on- 
oord.N. C. 

Metts, James L, Captain • 

Prominent ^ itizen, Wilmington, N. C. 

Mills, G. H., Lieutenant ••.••,, t iom IV— 137 

In business. Kutherfordton. Died 10 January, 1901. 

Montgomery, W. A. , Lieutenant ■■■■;:■■■■■■■ ■■■ ^-^^^' V— 257 

Justice Supreme Court since 1895. Raleigh, N. C. 

Moore, John W., Major „■■■.„■•./ • -1^—261 

Editor "Moore's Roster, " Historian and Novelist, PowellsviUe, N. C. 
Moore, M. V.. Captain Ill— 673 

Editor and Farmer. Died 1900. 
Moore, T. C, Lieutenant IV— 221 

Farmer, Bladen County. 
MoREHEAD, Jas. T , Colonel • • ■ Ill— 255 

State Senator 1872; Lawyer. Greensboro, N. C 

Morris, B. T., (^aptain ^ V ' x^ " ' m~^^^ 

Chairman County Commissioners Henderson County; Farmer. 

Mullen, James M., ^ ■ : ' „ V V ' '^ ' vn '^"^^^ 

state Senator N. C; Judge Hustings Court, Petersburg, \a. 

Myrover, J. H., Lieutenant ... ■ IV— 341 

Editor, Man of Letters, FayetteviUe, N. C. 

Officer of Shenandoah • • ■ • * 

The name is unknown, l)ut supposed to be one of the Surgeons 
of the ship. 

Osborne, E. A., Colonel .• : . " '., xt n ' R.<,in.pnt^~^^^ 

Minister Episcopal Church; Chaplain Second N. C. Regiment 
Spanish War 1898. Charlotte, N. C. 

Outlaw, E. R., Captain „V ,.-.^ xr n ' ' ^""^^^ 

Sheriff Bertie Co. 10 years; Planter. Bertie County, N. C. 

Parker. Frank M. , Colonel II— 49o 

Farmer. Enfield, N. C. 

XXIV Historians and Contributors. 

Parker, W. Fletcher. Lieutenant IV — 71 

Member Gen. Ass. 1901; Merchant and Farmer. Enfield, N. C. 

Patton, Thos. W., Captain Ill— 499 

Twice Mayor, Co. Commr., Philanthropist and Financier, Ashe- 
ville, N. C. 

Pickens, S V., Adjutant IV-109, 36S 

Lawyer, Hendersonville, N. C. 

Pool, S. D , Colonel, 1—489; V— 19, 83 

Ed. "Our Living and Our Dead"; Supt. Pub. Instruction N. C. 
1878-80. Died in Louisiana 1902. 

Powell. C. S. , Adjutant IV— 329 

Sheriff of Johnston Co.; Merchant. Smithfleld, N. C. 

Powers, L. E., Lieutenant. . . II — 147 

Member Gen. Ass. 1879-1883, Architect, Rutherfordton, N. C. 

Prisoners at Johnson Island to Gov. Vance IV — 697 

Ramsay, John A. , Captain I — 551 

State Senator; Civil Engineer. Salisbury, N. C. 

Ramsey, N. A , Captain ... Ill — 503 

Surveyor, Durham, N. C, 

Ray, James M., Lieutenant-Colonel Ill — 473- 

Real Estate Agent, Asheville, N. C. 

Ray, Neill W., Captain 1-293: V— 605 

Lawyer; Mayor of Fayetteville, N. C. Died 1899. 

Rawley, T. L., Captain 1—701, IV— 551 

In business, Winston, N. C. 

Rivenbark, Chas W.. Sergeant ... .IV — 725 V — 595 

In business, Charlotte, N. C. 

RoBBiNs, W. M. , Major V— 101 

Member Congress 1872-78; Com. Gettysburg Battlefield since 

Roberts. W. P . Brigadier General . . .II — 99 

State Auditor 1877-1891; Consul to Victoria, B. C, 1893-1897. 
Gatesville, N. C. 

Robinson, Jno. H. . Adjutant Ill— 223 

Accountant, Fayetteville, N. C. 

Rogers, J. Rowan, Lieutenant Ill — 103 

bueriff Wake County 1887-1891; Farmer. Raleigh, N. C. 

Rose, George M.. Adjutant Ill — 685 

Speaker N. C. House of Reps. 1883; Lawyer, Fayetteville, N. C. 

Rose, W.N., Corporal 11—269 

Farmer, Johnston County, N. C. 

RouLH.AC, Tiios. R.. Lieutenant Ill — 125 

Judge Superior Court Alabama. Sheffield, Ala. 

Sanders. J. W. , Lieutenant I — 499 

Physician, Carteret County, N. C. ; 

Shaw, W. P. , Lieutenant Ill— 455 

Clerk Superior Court Hertford County. Winton, N. C. 

Smith. N. S., Adjutant 1-689 

Farmer, Forsythe Co. 

Sparrow. Thom.\s. Major. V — 35 

Member Gen. Assembly 1858-9: Lawyer. Washington, N. C. 
Died 14 January, 1884. 

Sprunt, James, Purser V — 353- 

Large shipper and British Vice Consul, Wilmington, N. C. 

Stedman, Charles M.. Major Ill— 21, V— 207 

Lieutenant-Governor 1889-1893; Lawyer. Greensboro, N. C. 

Historians and Contributors. xxv 

,y ^y Ill— 729 

bTRiNGFl^ELD,^ Gen. Ass 1883;' state" Senator 'iVoi; Surveyor, Waynes- 
ville, N. C. 

Sutton, Thomas H. , Private ■ ■ ■■ •;■■•••■•.•. p"~ " 

Member Gen. Assembly 1887, 1889, 1891, 1897; Judge Criminal 
Court 1897-8; Fayetteville, N. C. 

^ TV 9Q^ 

Taylor, MATTHiiw P ^^ 

Insurance Agent. Wilmington, N. C. 

Thorn E, E A., Lieutenant ^--^ ^- V \j'n ^ ~^' ^ 

County Commissioner; Farmer, Halifax County, JN. C. 

Thorp, John H., Captain ■ -^ ■■- ■, ■ :^ ■ ■ I^— ^^ 

State Senator 1887; Lawyer; Farmer, Nash County, N. C. 
Rocky Mount. 
ToLAR, A. H. H., Captain ^'— 98 

Editor, jJamon, Texas. 

Toon Thos. F., Brieadier-General .. • • • • • -T^I— HI 

'superintendent Public Instruction 1901-1902. Died February 
1902. Lumberton, N. C. 
Tredwell, Adam, Paymaster in Navy ^ — 299 

In business, Norfolk, Va. 
Turner, Yi^e-s E.. Captain 11—181 

Dentist, Raleigh, N. C. 
TuTTLE, RoMuix'S M., • A —599 

Presbyterian Minister, Collierstown, va. 
Underwood, George C, Assistant Surgeon 11—303 

Physician, Chatham County, N. C. 
Vance Robert B.. Brigadier General 11—485 

Member Congress \S72-H->. U. S. Comm'r Patents 1884. Died 1900. 

Vance, Zebulon B. , Colonel ^ -^ • ■ ■ ■■■■,w '^^ ~"*^^^ 

Three times Governor of N. C, and four times elected U. b. 
Senator; Lawyer. Died 1893. 

Waddill, J. M., Lieutenant HI— '^^ 

Merchant, Greenville, S. C. 

\M ATT H C^ Spro'pant — lol 

Cotton ' Mamifacturer, Meni{)er Gen. Ass. 1899, Rockingham. 
N. C. Died 1900. 

Walton, T George ^-^ • V— 635 

Promineut Citizen, Morganton, N C , now 86 years old. 

Watson, Cyrus B., Sergeant • ■ y- -ioQi.^^"" ^^ 

State Senator 1889, 1891; Dem. Candidate for Governor 1896, 
Lawyer, Winston, N. C. 

Webb, Lewis H., Captain ■ IV-355 

Franklin, Va. Died 8 February, 1902. 

Webb, Robert F. , Colonel I^ ~^^'^ 

Farmer, Durham County. Died 1890. 

Weston, James A., Major /•,;•;.• • • ' V ' 'A ' W ^^~^^^ 

Minister Episcopal Church; Author of "Marshall Ney in North Car- 
Wharton, Rufus W,, Lieutenant Colonel .111—703 IV— 225 

Member State Board of Agriculture; Farmer. Washington, 

N. C. 
Wheeler, Woodbury, Captain IV— 315 

L,awyer, Washington, D. C. Died 1900. 

Whitaker, Spier, Adjutant ■„;„ ■ • • -^ ~^' 

Judge Superior Court 1890-4; Major 6th U. S. Vols. 1898 (Span- 
ish War). Died June, 1901. 

White, B. F., Captain V— 581 

Merchant, Alamance County, N. C. 

White, John, Commissioner V— 453 

Merchant, Warrenton, N. C. Died . 

XXVI Historians and Contributors, 

Wiggins, Octavius A 11—658 

In business, Wilmington, N. C. 

Williams, Arthur B. , Captain I— 537 

Mnyoi- Fayettevilie 1875; Chairman Co. Commrs; in buciness, 
Fayetteville, N. C. 

Williams, J. Marshall, Lieutenant Ill — 267 

Fanner, Fayetteville, N. C. 

Williams, R. S , Captain 1—653 

Farmer, Guilford County. 

Wynns, Jas. M. , Lieutenant-Colonel. IV— 365 

Member Gen. Assembly, Merchant, Murfreesboro, N. C. 

Yellowly, E. C, Lieutenant-Colonel V— 55 

Lawyer, Greenville, N. C. Died 1885. 

Young, Louis G , Captain IV— 555, V— 113 

Merchant, Savannah, Georgia. 

The Editor I— v, xi, xiii, xiv; IV— 1, 65, 69, 97, 

107, 129, 133, 224, 270, 301, 302, 338, 
339, 383, 397. 398, 399, 400, 401, 403, 
407, 435, 649; V— iii, vii, xix, 1, 3, 
8, 17, 71, 298, 573, 587, 626. 


By the editor. 

By the Adjutant-General's report 19 J^ovember, 1864, it 
appears as follows: 

Transferred to Confederate States by original rolls on file 64,636 

No. of conscripts to 30 September, 18,585, bnt report of General 

Holmes 9 Febrnary, 1865 21,348 

Enlisted number of recruits since 1862 21,608 

Number of North Carolinians serving in other States 3,100 

Number of detailed men (in three regiments and one battalion) . . 3,117 

Number Junior Reserves 4,207 

Number Senior Reserves 5,686 

Number in State Troops 3,203 

Total 126,905 

Additions by coming of Military age after 19 November, 1864, 

and other additions, probably 2,000 

Total 128,905 

Besides nine regiments of reorganized Home Guai'ds 1864-'65. . . . 5,000 

Grand total 133,905 

Which is sliglitly in excess of Major Gordon's estimate in 
Vol. 1 of this work, at page 10. 

The total enrollment in the li.ome Guards in the Spring 
of 1864 was 25,098. This embraced men from 45 to 50, 
and 5,589 militia officers, magistrates and other civil officers 
exem})t from Confederate service and other exemptions and 
those exempt from physical disability. This latter class was 
reported to the Confederate Congress at 7,885. It is proba- 
ble that the exemptions of all kinds from the Home Guards 
vere one-half, leaving 12,500 in Home Guards. Of this 
numl)er 6,000 were later taken into Confederate service as 
Senior Reserves, leaving the Home Guards only 6,500, of 
whom, however, when finally ordered out not more than 5,000 
(as above stated) got to the front. The number of officers, 
1,312, which were not very excessive before the Home Guard 
was depleted by taking out the Senior Reserves, became 
nearly one-fourth of the force when mobilized, as appears 


2 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

from the official returns of the three Home Guard Kegiments 
at Kinston September-November, 1864, and their number an 

In the early part of the war the ''State Troops" consisted of 
the first ten regiments and the Thirty-third, which were en- 
listed at the start "for three years or the war," the others being 
twelve months men or "Volunteers." But the State Troops 
in above table are the Sixty-seventh and Sixty-eighth Regi- 
ments, the First Heavy Artillery Battalion (herein styled 
iVintli Battalion), the Fifteenth Battalion (cavalry), and 
Fourteenth Battalion (cavalry), which later was raised to a 
regiment, the Seventy-ninth (or Eighth Cavalry). These 
commands were never turned over to the Confederacy, having 
been raised for service in the State, though they served under 
Confederate Generals, like all others. 


As a matter of interest, the following table is here given 

of exemptions in this State which were reported to the Con- 
federate Congress in February, 1865. 129 Off. Rec. TJnion 
and Confed. Armies, 1101 : 

Physical disability 7,885 

State officers (including in this 2,650 militia officers) 5,589 

Ministers of the Gospel 400 

Editors 21 

Newspaper employees 99 

Apothecaries 31 

Physicians 374 

Presidents and College Professors 173 

Presidents, etc.. Deaf, Dumb and Blind 5 

Overseers and Agriculturists ... 246 

Railroad officers and employees 967 

Mail contractors 100 

Mail drivers 47 

Non combatants (Quakers) 342 

Foreigners 167 

Special exempts 49 

Agricultural details 329 

Shoemakers, tanners, etc 437 

Total 17,261 

The State also furnished a large number of negroes from 
time to time to work on fortifications under Confederate au- 


mnm cflROLiNfl. 

By the editor. 

The total number of Confederate troops was between 600,- 
000 and 050,000. The troops from North Carolina in Con- 
federate service as above was over 125,000, or about one-fifth. 

The Confederacy appointed the following General Officers 
{20 So. Hist. Papers, 111): 

Full Generals 6 

Full Generals (temporary) 2 

Of these none from North Carolina. 
Lieutenant-Generals 21 

From North Carolina two or one-tentJi. 
Major-Generals 99 

From North Carolina 6 (or including J. F. Gilmer 7) 
instead of 20, her quota. 
Brigadier-Generals 480 

From North Carolina 25 (or including General Rains, 26) 
instead of ho' quota, 96. 

Of her twenty-five Brigadiers, four were temporary ap- 
pointments and two of them were returned to their former 
rank as Colonels after a few weeks service, and of her 
Major-Generals, also one was a temporary appointment. 
Of her two Lieutenant-Generals, one had his appointment 
withdraAvn after rendering distinguished services in com- 
mand of his Corps at Chickamauga, and the Senate had no 
chance to confirm him as Lieutenant-General. 

Investigation shows that Brigadier-General Gabriel J. 
Rains and Major-General Jeremy F. Gilmer were appointed 
from this State and should be added to the list of Generals 
given in the preface to Vol. 1. Neither, however, com- 
manded North Carolina troops. General Rains commanded 

4 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

an Alabama Brigade in 1862 and thereafter was in the En' 
gineer Corps. General Gilmer was Chief of Engineer Bu- 
reau, and for a while Chief of Staff in the Army of the West. 
After the war he settled in Georgia and General Eains in Ar- 

With Generals Rains and Gilmer added and including the 
temporary appointments above mentioned, out of 008 Gen- 
eral Officers appointed by the Confederacy, this State had 
only 35 instead of 122, which would have been her one-fifth, 
in proportion to troojjs furnished. 

Governor Vance's letter books show repeated protests by 
him against this discrimination. It is not too much to say 
that by common consent in the army Peflder, Hoke, and Pet- 
tigrew were entitled to command' Corps or even Armies, and 
we doubtless had others who would have proven themselves 
competent for high conunands if opportunity had been fur- 
nished them. 

It was only by urgent representations that Governor 
Vance secured the brigading of North Carolina troops to- 
gether in Lee's army and that most of the commanders of 
North Carolina brigades were North Carolinians. As to the 
Arm}^ of the West, that was never done, though the Legisla- 
ture in 1864 passed a resolution requesting that the North 
Carolina regiments in that army should be brigaded together 
and a North Carolinian made Brigadier. In fact, Colonel 
David Coleman, of tlie Thirty-ninth, for a long time com- 
manded Ector's Brigade, in which was that regiment and 
the Twenty-ninth, but he never received his merited promo- 
tion. The Junior Reserves Brigade 12 March, 1865, peti- 
tioned (unknown to Colonel Coleman) that he be promoted 
Brigadier-General and assigned to command them, but the 
application was not granted. 

The same discrimination against this State in the appoint- 
ment of General Officers was shown in the Revolution and 
even in the recent war with Spain. 

THE n; 




1. Walter Gvvynn, Brigadier-General. 

2. Jno. W. McElroy, Brigadier-General. 
^. David Clark, Brigadier-General. 

4. Collett Leventhorpe, Brig'r-General. 

.5. James G. Martin, Ad.iutant-General. 

6. Daniel G. Fowle, Adjutant-General. 

7. R. C. Gatlin, Adjutant-General. 

8. John F. Hoke, Adjutant-General. 


By Lieutenant E. A. THORNE, Ordnance Officer, Ransom's 

During the war there were eight Brigadier-Generals under 
State commission, who commanded troops at the front or oth- 
erwise rendered active service. 

1. Brigadier-General John F. Hoke, Adjutant-General of 
the Militia. Through him the volunteer regiments were or- 
ganized down till his election as Colonel of the Twenty-third 
Regiment, when he resigned. Later he resigned as Colonel 
of that regiment and in 1864 was elected Colonel of the Sev- 
c-ntj'-third Ttegiment (First Senior Reserves) and in Octo- 
ber, 1864, was placed in command as Senior Colonel of a 
brigade consisting of the Seventy-third, Seventy-fourth and 
Seventy-sixth Regiments (First, Second and Third Senior 
Reserves), which were in Confederate service and assigned 
to duty guarding Federal prisoners at Salisbury and scouring 
the three adjacent Congressional Districts for deserters. 

2. Brigadier-General James G. Martin, who was Adju- 
tant-General under the act to raise the eleven regiments called 
^^State Troops," who enlisted in the beginning for "three 
years or the war." After the resignation of Adjutant- 
General Hoke he was Adjutant-General of the entire service 
of raising and equipping troops and likewise charged with 
the defence of the State. It was on his suggestion that Gov- 
ernor Vance began the importation of army supplies through 
the medium of the Ad-Vancc. In May, 1862, he was ap- 
pointed Brigadier-General in the Confederate States service 
and some months later a question being raised as to his right 
to hold both commissions, he resigned the State appointment 
and took command of a brigade in the field. In 1864 he 
was sent to Asheville and placed in command of that depart- 
ment, surrendering at Waynesville 10 May, 1865, the last 
surrender this side the Mississippi. 

6 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

3. On General Martin's resignation, Daniel G. Fowle was 
appointed Brigadier and Adjutant-General, but held the posi- 
tion only a short time, being soon elected to the Legislature 
from Wake County. Previous to this appointment he had 
been Lieutenant-Colonel of the Thirtj^-first Regiment and had 
been captured at Roanoke Island. In 1888 he was elected 

4. Brigadier-General Walter Gwyun was an Engineer 
officer of high repute and was, on the outbreak of the war, as- 
signed by the State to the supervision of our coast defences. 
His reports, still on file, are valuable and show that if his 
suggestions had been followed we should not have lost Hat- 
teras and thus opened the door to the host of evils which beset 
Eastern Korth Carolina the remainder of the war. With 
Hatteras securely held all Eastern North Carolina would 
have been exempt from invasion as fully as the Cape Fear 
country was till the loss of Fort Fisher. He resigned in 

5. On the resignation of Adjutant-General Fowle, Richard 
C. Gatlin, who was the senior Brigadier-General from North 
Carolina in the Confederate service, resigned and was ap- 
pointed Brigadier and Adjutant-General in State service. 
He rendered most efficient duty organizing the Home Guards, 
assisting the conscript service, and supervising the State 
Troops, which were the Sixty-seventh and Sixty-eighth Regi- 
ments, the First Heavy Artillery Battalion, the Fifteenth 
(cavalry) Battalion (Wynns'),and Fourteenth Battalion (cav- 
alry) later Seventy-ninth Regiment, for none of these were 
ever turned over to the Confederacy. The Sixty-eighth was 
raised entirely from men w^ithin the territory occupied by the 
Federals. General Gatlin's letter and order books show the 
great range of his work and the faithfulness and ability with 
which he executed it. 

6. Brigadier-General David Clark in January. 1862, was 
assigned to the command of the defences of Roanoke river, 
not so much by virtue of his command of a brigade of militia 
(from Halifax, Northampton and Warren) as by special ap- 
pointment from the Governor by reason of his knowledge of 
that section. The militia of Bertie, Washington, Edgecombe 

Generals Commissioned by the State. 7 

and Martin were also placed under his orders, and authority 
was given him to impress slaves, teams and supplies for his 
purpose. On the fall of Roanoke Island he assembled his 
militia at Plymouth, subsequently falling back to William- 
ston. These orders were renewed by General S. G. French 
and General T. H. Holmes, who successively came in charge 
of the department. The Thirty-fourth Regiment under Col- 
onel Leventhorpe and the Thirty-eighth under Colonel W. J. 
Hoke were sent to his assistance, but he was not relieved of 
the command till late in April when Colonel Leventhorpe suc- 
ceeded him. This is the only instance of a General of Mili- 
tia being in active service during that war in this State — 
though it was common practice in the Revolution and in 
1812-15- — and this, as just stated, was rather a special as- 
signment to duty than by virtue of his previous commission. 

7. Brigadier-General John W. McElroy was appointed by 
Governor Vance 19 September, 1863, under the act of 7 July, 
1863, to establish a "Guard for Home Defence" — commonly 
called Home Guards. He and General Leventhorpe, ap- 
pointed a year later, were the only two Generals of the 
''Home Guards." General McElroy was assigned to duty in 
charge of Home Guards of several counties adjacent to his 
headquarters at Burnsville to protect that section against 
raids from East Tennessee and was on duty till the surrender 
of Johnston. 

8. Brigadier-General Collett Leventhorpe had served as a 
Captain in the English army. He was successively Colonel 
of the I'hirty-fourth and Eleventh ^orth Carolina Regiments 
and was wounded at Gettysburg. In 1804 he was appointed 
by Governor Vance Brigadier-General and assigned to com- 
mand the three Home Guard regiments which were assembled 
at Kinston in September, 1864. On 3 February, 1865, he 
was ap]iointed Brigadier-General in the Confederate service 
but remained in command of these troops. He was at 
Greensboro 14 April, 1865, and notified General Beaure- 
gard on that date that his troops were leaving for home. 100 
Off. Rec. Union and Confed. Armies, 800. But the same 
thing was taking place at that time among all the troops, for 
it was plain to all alike that our hope of success had passed. 


By the editor. 

By General Orders 20 December, 1862, 12S Off. Records 
Union and Confed. Armies, 2JfS, there was established nine 
permanent military courts, one for each corps. Each court 
consisted of a presiding judge and two associates, all of the 
rank of Colonel, and a Judge Advocate. 

jSTorth Carolina was represented on these courts as follows : 

On court for Jackson's Corps, Colonel David M. Carter, 
Associate Judge. 

On court for E. Kirby Smith's Corps, Colonel Thomas 
Ruffin, Presiding Judge. 

On court for G. W. Smith's Corps, Colonel William B. 
Rodman, Presiding Judge. 

Out of the thirty-six officers of the nine courts, North Car- 
olina had only these three representatives, though at the time 
fully one-fifth of the troops under arms were from this State. 


By Lieutenant E. A. THORNE, Ordnance Officer, Ransom's Brigade. 


Major-General William D. Pender. 
" " Stephen D. Ilamseur. 

" W. H. C. Whiting. 
Brigadier-General L. O'B. Branch. 
'' " Junius Daniel. 

" " James B. Gordon. 

" G. B. Anderson. 
" " J. J. Pettigrew. 

" Arch. C. Godwin. 


Montford S. Stokes, First Regiment. 

Charles C. Tew, Second Begiment. 

Gaston H. Meares, Third Begiment. 

Geo. B. Anderson, Fourth Regiment, promoted to Brig- 
adier-General and killed. 

James H. Wood, Fourth Regiment. 

Thos. M. Garrett, Fifth Regiment. 

Charles F. Fisher, Sixth Regiment. 

Isaac E. Avery, Sixth Regiment. 

Wm. D. Pender, Sixth Regiment, promoted Major-Gen- 
eral and killed. 

Reuben P. Campbell, Seventh Regiment. 

Henry M. Shaw, Eighth Regiment. 

James B. Gordon, Ninth Regiment, promoted Brigadier- 
General and killed. 

James A. J. Bradford, Tenth Regiment, died in service. 

Junius Daniel, Fourteenth Regiment, promoted Brigadier- 
General and killed. 

Philetus W. Roberts, Fourteenth Regiment, died in ser- 

10 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

Kobert M. McKinney, Fifteenth Regiment. 

Champ T. N. Davis, Sixteenth Regiment. 

Thos. J. Purdie, Eighteenth Regiment. 

Solomon Williams, Nineteenth Regiment. 

Matthew L. Davis, Nineteenth Regiment. 

Clinton M. Andrews, Nineteenth Regiment. 

J. Johnston Pettigrew, Twenty-second Regiment, pro- 
moted Brigadier-General and killed. 

Daniel H. Christie, Twenty-third Regiment. 

Charles C. Blacknall, Twenty-third Regiment. 

Henry K. Burgwyn, Twenty-sixth Regiment. 

Wm. H. A. Speer, Twenty-eighth Regiment. 

Edward C. Brabble, Thirty-second Regiment. 

L. O'B. Branch, Thirty-third Regiment, promoted Briga- 
dier-General and killed. 

Clark M. Avery, Thirty-third Regiment. 

Richard H. Riddick, Thirty-fourth Regiment. 

John G. Jones, Thirty-fifth Regiment. 
^ Charles C. Lee, Thirty-seventh Regiment. 

William M. Barber, Thirty-seventh Regiment. 

George B. Singletary, Forty-fourth Regiment. 

J. Henry Morehead, Forty-fifth Regiment, died in service. 

Samuel H. Boyd, Forty-fifth Regiment. 

Robert C. Hill, Forty-eighth Regiment, died in service. 

Stephen D. Ramseur, Forty-ninth Regiment, promoted 
Major-General and killed. 

James K. Marshall, Fifty-second Regiment. 

Marcus A. Parks, Fifty-second Regiment. 

Wm. A. Owens, Fifty-third Regiment. 

A. C. Godwin, Fifty-seventh Regiment, promoted Briga- 
dier-General and killed. 

Peter G. Evans, Sixty-third Regiment. 

James H. McNeil, Sixty -third Regiment. 

Alex. D. Moore, Sixty-sixth Regiment. 

W. C. Walker, Eightieth Regiment. 


Walter vS. Stallings, Second Regiment. 
William M. Parsley, Third Regiment. 

General and Field Officers Killed. 11 

Junius L. Hill, Seventh Regiment. 

Thomas Ruffin, iSFinth Regiment. 

Francis W. Bird, Eleventh Regiment. 

George S. Lovejoy, Fourteenth Regiment, died in service. 

John C. Lamb, Seventeenth Regiment. 

R. K. Pepper, Twenty-first Regiment. 

Saunders Fuller, Twenty-first Regiment. 

Franklin J. Faison, Twentieth Regiment. 

Robert H. Gray, Twenty-second Regiment, died in service. 

C C. Cole, Twenty-second Regiment. 

John T. Jones, Twenty-sixth Regiment. 

Thomas L. Lowe, Twenty-eighth Regiment, died in service. 

William W. Sellers, Thirtieth Regiment. 

Oliver C. Petway, Thirty-fifth Regiment. 

John A. Graves, Forty-seventh Regiment, died in prison. 

John A. Flemming, Forty-ninth Regiment. 

James T. Davis, Forty-ninth Regiment. 

John R. Murchison, Fifty-first Regiment. 

Caleb B. Hobson, Fifty-first Regiment. 

James C. S. McDowell, Fifty-fourth Regiment. 

M. Thomas Smith, Fifty-fifth Regiment. 

Edmund Kirby, Fifty-eighth Regiment. 

James T. Weaver, Sixtieth Regiment. 

Edward J. Mallett, Sixty-first Regiment. 

Elias F. Shaw, Sixty-third Regiment. 

Clement G. Wright, Sixty-sixth Regiment. 

H. L. Andrews, Second Battalion. 


Tristam L. Skinner, First Regiment. 

John Howard, Second Regiment. 

A. K. Simonton, Fourth Regiment. 

John C. Badham, Fifth Regiment. 

Henry McRae, Eighth Regiment, died in service. 

John H. Whitaker, ISTinth Regiment. 

Thomas N. Grumpier, Ninth Regiment. 

Egbert A. Ross, Eleventh Regiment. 

Edward Dixon, Fourteenth Regiment, died in service. 

Lucius J. Johnson, Seventeenth Regiment, died in service. 

12 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

John S. Brooks, Twentieth Regiment, 

Alexander Miller, Twenty-first Regiment, died in service. 

W. J. Pfohl, Twenty-first Regiment. 

Laban Odell, Twenty-second Regiment. 

E. J. Christian, Twenty-third Regiment. 

William S. Grady, Twenty-fifth Regiment. 

Abner B. Carmichael, Twenty-sixth Regiment. 

Thomas W. Mayhew, Thirty-third Regiment. 

Eli H. Miller, Thirty-fourth Regiment. 

George M. Clark, Thirty-fourth Regiment. 

John M. Kelly, Thirty-fifth Regiment. 

Owen ]Sr. Brown, Thirty-seventh Regiment. 

Thomas McGee Smith, Forty-fifth Regiment. 

Benjamin R. Huske, Forty-Eighth Regiment. 

John Q. Richardson, Fifty-second Regiment. 

James J. Iredell, Fifty-third Regiment. 

James A. Rogers, Fifty-fourth Regiment. 

James S. Whitehead, Fifty-fifth Regiment, died in service. 

A. T. Stewart, Fifty-eighth Regiment. 

Thos. W. Harris, Sixty-third Regiment. 

Charles M. Roberts, Seventy-ninth Regiment. 

John W. Woodfin, Woodfin's Battalion. 

E. A. Thobne. 

AlRLIE, N. C, 

9 April, 1901. 

21 NOVEnBER, 1861, 

By brigadier-general JAMES G. MARTIN. 

First Regiment, Matliias Point, Virginia. 
• Second Kegiment, Fredericksburg, Virginia. 

Third Eegiment, Acquia Creek, Virginia. 

Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Regiments, Manassas, Va. 

Seventh Regiment, Bogue Island, near Fort Macon, j^. C 

Eighth Regiment, Roanoke Island, JSTorth Carolina. 

Ninth Regiment, near Centreville, Virginia. 

Tenth Regiment, Companies B, II and F, heavy artil- 
lery. Fort Macon, North Carolina ; Company C, light battery, 
near New Bern, North Carolina ; Company G, light battery, 
near Fort Macon ; Company D, light battery, near Centre- 
ville, Virginia ; Company E, light battery, near Port Royal, 
South Carolina; Company A, light battery, Smithfield, Vir- 
ginia ; Company I, heavy artillery, near New Bern, North 
Carolina ; Company R, prisoners of war taken at Hatteras. 

''Bethel" Regiment, disbanded 13 November. 

Twelfth Regiment, Norfollv, Virginia. 

Thirteenth and Fourteenth Regiments, Smithfield, Va. 

Fifteenth Regiment, Yorktown, Virginia. 

Sixteenth Regiment, en route to Manassas from Western 

Seventeenth Regiment, the field officers and Companies D, 
F, G, H, and I, were taken prisoners of war at Hatteras, the 
balance of the regiment is at Roanoke Island and in Hyde 
County, North Carolina. 

Eighteenth Regiment, near Port Royal, South Carolina. 

Nineteenth Regiment, Companies D, E, F, I and K, are at 
Edenton, North Carolina, not mounted ; A, C and H at New 
Bern, North Carolina, mounted ; B and G at Washington, 
North Carolina. 

14 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

Twentieth Tiegiment, Forts Johnston and Caswell, N. C. 

Twentj-first and Twenty-third Regiments, Manassas, Va. 

Twenty-second Regiment, Evansport, Virginia. 

Twenty-fourth Regiment, ordered from Western Virginia 
to Petersburg, Virginia. 

Twenty-fifth Regiment, near Port Royal, South Carolina. 

Twenty-sixth Regiment, Bogue Island, near Fort Macon. 

Twenty-seventh Regiment, Companies A, B and G at Fort 
Macon ; the balance at Fort Lane, near New Bern, N. C. 

Twenty-eighth Regiment, near Wilmington, N. C. 

Twenty-ninth Regiment, at Raleigh under marching ordets 
to Jonesboro, Tennessee. 

Thirtieth and Thirty-first Regiments, near Wilmington, 
N. C. 

Thirty-second Regiment, Companies G, H, I and K taken 
prisoners at Hatteras ; the other six companies are stationed 
near Norfolk, Virginia. 

Thirty-third Regiment, Companies A, B and C in Hyde 
County ; the balance in this city getting equipped. 

Thirty-fourth Regiment, at High Point, North Carolina. 

Thirty-fifth Regiment, at Raleigh without arms. 

Thirty-sixth Regiment, the six companies on the coast of 
North Carolina. 

Thirty-seventh Regiment, organized at High Point to-day. 
No arms. 

Two more regiments can be organized soon if arms can be 
furnished for them. 

The above does not incliide the battalion and companies 
that have tendered their services to the Confederacy. They 
would form, at least, two regiments. 
I am very respectfully, 

J. G. Martin. 

Kaleigh, N. C, 

21 November, 1861. 

Note. — The above is report of Adjutant General Martin, 21 November, 
1861, to Adjutant General Samuel Cooper, C. S. A. 


By D. H. hill, Lieutenant-Generau 

There were at least six instances in the siege of Petersburg 
in which shells, with burning fuse attached, were picked up 
and thrown over the breastworks. On inquiry, each of these 
brave men were from North Carolina and their names and 
commands were as follows : 

1. Captain Stewart L, Johnston, Company II, Seventeenth 
Xorth Carolina liegiment, says: '"A shell from one of the 
enemy's mortars fell in the midst of the company, and while 
it was s])inning round like a top and the fuse still burning. 
Private William dames Auslxni picked it up and cast it over 
tlie breastworks where it immediat(dy exploded. General 
Beauregard in genei'al orders directed his name to ho ])laced 
on the Roll of Honor and that he be ])rescnted with a silver 

2. Colonel J no. E. Brown, Ptjrty-second Xorth Candina 
liegiment, says: '^Private Frank Campbell, Company F, 
of this regiment, though belonging to the Drum Corps, was 
frequently on the firing line. On one occasion a loaded shell 
fell into the trenches at Petersburg. Campbell caught it up 
immediately and threw it outside, before it could explode, 
thereby saving the lives of a nund)er of his comrades. On an- 
other occasion he threw water upon a shell for a like purpose. 
lie was from Davie CViunty and survived the war." 

?>. Captain T. J. Adams, Company K, Forty-ninth Xorth 
C'^i'olina Pegiment, says: ''Private William Guffey, of my 
company, while rubbing up his field piece, as he was pleased 
to call his rifle, had the misfortune to have it smashed by a 
mortar shell. Seeing the shell, with the fuse burning rap- 
idly and almost ready to explode, he cried out, 'Why, there is 
the darned old thing frying now,' and gTabbing it up, threw 
it over the breastworks." 

4. Captain li. D. Graham, Company D, Fifty-sixth Xorth 
Carolina Pegiment, writes: "On 18 June, 1864, the next 
dav after the terrific nieht liattle of 17 June, a batterv to the 

10 XoRTii Cakoi.ika Tkoops.. ]8G1-'G5. 

light of tlie Baxter road tlirew a shell into a ditch where the 
'Crater' afterwards exploded on 30 July, which ditch was 
crowded with men from our regiment. Its explosion would 
have caused a great loss of life, but quick as thought, Private 
John Alvis Parker, of my company, had it upon his spade 
and threw it over the breastworks, saying, "Get out of here." 
It exploded as it went over. There was no braver deed dur- 
hig the war. I heard that the same thing was done by a 
member of Pegram's Battery the same day." 

5. Adjutant W. L. Faison, Sixty-first North Carolina Reg- 
iment, says: "I send you the name of Sergeant Thomas L. 
Graves, Company A, of this regiment, as one of the six 'name- 
less heroes.' On 3 June, 1864, at Cold Harbor, while the 
enemy was shelling our works, a shell fell in the trench oc- 
cupied by our regiment, in a smoking condition and almost 
ready to burst. It was at once seized by this brave man and 
thrown over the parapet." 

6. Captain Jas. D. Cumming, Cumming's Battery, Com- 
pany C, Thirteenth [N'ortli Carolina Battalion, writes: 
"While Butler was 'bottled up' at Bermuda Hundreds, during 
a heavy cannonade on 3 June, 1864, a shell from a 32-pound 
battery, just opposite our position, fell into our trenches and 
rolled under the trail of a gun by which I was standing. Pri- 
vate J. P. Pierce, from Columbus County, IST. C, of my bat- 
tery, raised the shell and threw it over the jiarapet. General 
Beauregard in a general order complimented his bravery and 
]n-esence of mind." 

D. H. Hii.T.. 

Charlotte. N. C. , 

9 April, 18G7. 

Note —The above is taken from Vol 2, Ltind We Love ( 1866-67) edited 
by General Hill, in which mnch valuable material for the history of the 
War is preserved, which is also true of Colonel Stephen D. Pool's valuabe 
volumes Our Lmiuj and our Dead. There is no record of all those who cap- 
tured flags from the enemy, but in 69 Of. Bee. Union and Confed Armies 
806 is an official report of the capture 12 May, 1864, of the flag of the 51st 
Penn. regiment by Lieutenant O. A. Wiggins, Co. E, 37th N. C. regi- 
ment; of the flag of the 17th Michigan by Lieutenant J. M. Grimsley, 
Co. K. 37th regiment, N. C, and of a brigade guidon by Private James 
H. Wheeler, Co. E. Eighteenth N. C. regiment. It is to be regretted 
that a complete list of the brave men from this State who thus captured 
Hags from the enemy can not now be made. 


By the editor. 

Among the many other deeds of striking gallantry are the 
following whose memory has been preserved to us by reso- 
lutions of thanks by the General Assembly, for they are not 
mentioned in any of the articles in these volumes. 

On 4 July, 18G3, the General Assembly passed a resolu- 
tion of thanks to "Captain John Elliott, of Pasquotank 
county, his officers and men, for the gallant manner in which 
they captured the two Federal steamers, Arroiv and Emily, 
(mail boats), the former in Albemarle and Chesapeake canal, 
the latter in North river, and bringing the same through Al- 
bemarle Sound and up the Chowan and Blackwater rivers 
and placing them safely under our guns at Franklin, Va., a 
distance of 120 miles from the place of capture, and that, 
too, while nmuorous gnn-boats were cruising the same route.'^ 

On 7 'Tuly, 18(33, the General Assembly passed a resolu- 
tion of thanks to a "detachment of six men," of Ca])tain S. 
C. Barringlon's company, of iMajor Jno. N. Whitford's Bat- 
talion, "for their gallant and daring conduct in boarding and 
capturing the crew of one of the enemy's boats (the Seabird) 
on the waters of Neuse river, and in burning and destroying 
said boat and cargo," and requested that Major Wliitford 
should "forward a list of the names of the brave men who 
have thus distinguished themselves" that they might be 
placed on the roll of honor. 

Captain Barrington's company was from Craven and when 
Whitford's Battalion was increased and became the Sixty- 
seventh Regiment, it was Company B, of that command. 

On recent investigation by Major Graham Daves these 
facts are learned: 

"The schooner Seabird was captured at the mouth of South 
river, off the Garbacon Shoals, and far within the Federal 
lines. The names of the scouting party, 'a detachment of six 

18 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

men,' are, or rather were — for all except the first mentioned 
are now dead — Eobert F. Stillej, James M. Carmady, Benj. 
JF. Edwards, Frank Howard, Cyrus J. Mayo and Wiley 
Tlowe. Stilley was in command of the party. All were of 
Craven County." 

Captain Jno. T. Elliott's became later Company A, of the 
Sixty-eighth Regiment, and was from Pasquotank County. 
The incidents connected with the above captures by his com- 
pany should noAv be hunted up and the names of the brave 
participants preserved if these lines should strike the eye of 
any having knowledge of the facts. The same should be done 
as to the acts which caused the General Assembly to pass a res- 
olution of thanks 23 December, 1864, "to Captain John A. 
Teague, Twenty-ninth Regiment Xorth Carolina Troops, and 
t(. the brave officers and men under his command for the ef- 
ficient manner in which they have discharged their duties in 
defending the western border of our State from the inroads 
of the enemy and depredations of bands of lawless men." 

The capture in ISTeuse river of the steamer Mystic 5 April, 
1865, and of the side-wheel steamer Minquas and two barges 
on Y April, 1865, by small detachments of the Sixty-seventh, 
then operating in Sherman's rear, is told in Vol. 3 of this 
w^ork on p. 710, and the capture of a steamer in New River 
28 November, 1862, by Company A, of the Forty-first regi- 
ment (Third (^avalry), and a section of Adams' battery is 
narrated in Vol. 2, p. 774. Doubtless there were other inci- 
dents of a similar kind creditable alike to the courage and 
enterprise of our troops whose memory should be preserved 
by surviving comrades before it is too late. 


By colonel STEPHEN D. POOL, Tenth Regiment (1 Art/ 
North Carolina Troops. 

ISTews had been received at headquarters at Kinston in No- 
vember, 18G2, that two Generals of the Federal army — one 
of them commanding in North Carolina, would, on a certain 
day, pass from Morehead to New Bern. It was advisable, 
in view of certain contemplated movements, to capture the 
train and secure the officers. At 10 o'clock p. m., I received 
orders to proceed at once to Trenton, take a detail of men 
from Major Nethercutt's command, and, if possible, on the 
day named, capture the train. At 2 a. m., I reached Trenton 
io find Major Nethercutt absent on one of his usual scouting 
expeditions. Awaiting his return at daylight, I made my- 
self comfortable, and was about to indulge in a morning nap, 
when the clatter of the feet of a horse, at full gallop, caused 
me to step to the door of the court house to see what was in 
the wind. The sentinel upon duty had halted the rider, and 
was receiving from him a paper to be immediately delivered 
to the officer in command. To my astonishment, the note 
bore no address, and upon being opened the blank page of 
half a sheet of letter paper was all that met my eye. The 
rider, an elderly countryman, unknown to me, was breathing 
his jaded horse preparatory to return; but could give me no 
other information than this: About 1 o'clock a. m., he was 
aroused from his slumbers and on going to his door, found a 
lady on horseback who gave him the note, and told him to 
take it at full speed to Trenton and give it to any Confederate 
officer he should find on duty there, as it contained important 
information. In a few moments thereafter, I was in the pri- 
vate room of a citizen of Trenton, and his kind wdfe was 
warming an iron, for my use. Applied to the seemingly 
blank sheet of paper, heat soon enabled me to see what I de- 

20 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

sired. Foster had returned two days sooner than anticipated 
and was to leave that very morning with a force most accu^ 
rately detailed on the sheet before me, on an expedition, 
having, in my opinion, the railroad bridge at Weldon for its 
objective point. The object of my expedition being thus 
frustrated, I returned immediately to Kinston, and gave the 
information I had procured through the intrepid daring of 
one of New Bern's daughters to the officer in command. 
Steps were promptly taken by the General commanding the 
department, and such an array of troops were placed in front 
and upon the flanks of the Federal General as caused him 
rapidly to retrace his steps. The lady's name appended to 
that note has never been told — her secret has been locked in 
my breast — my superior officer, respecting my motive in de- 
siring to keep it, only requiring my pledge that the writer 
was worthy of credit. I doubt if the writer of that note 
knew into whose hands it fell or the good it accomplished. 
Wlien I state that she was a young lady, tenderly reared, 
and then in the very morning of her maidenhood, her night 
ride at great personal risk, to convey useful information, can 
be properly appreciated. 

Stephen D. Pool. 

Note.— The above is taken from Vol. 4, p. 123 of "Our Living and 
Our Dead, " Recent investigation shows that a young lady living in New 
Bern sent the letter out (written probably with milk, which a hot iron 
will disclose) by another lady living in the country who could pass the 
pickets, and she delivered it to the messenger in the manner stated. 
Both ran great risk. — Ed. 

Captures and Battles, 


10 JANUARY, 1861. 

By JOHN L. CANTWELL, Colonel Fifty-First Regiment, N. C. T. 

The fact that the State of North Carolina was slow to fol- 
low the secession movement of her more Southern sister States 
was the cause of much chafing among her people in the east- 
ern counties, and especially along the seacoast, where it was 
urged that the Federal Government was likely, at any mo- 
ment, to garrison the forts commanding Cape Fear river, and 
Beaufort harbor. 

Thepeople of Wilmington were particularly exercised over 
the possibility of such a step being taken, and it is likely that 
the knowledge of this strong feeling, and the impression that 
it would be regarded as an act of coercion, alone deterred the 
Washington Government from sending down strong garrisons 
and am])le munitions of war. 

Fort Caswell, commanding the main entrance to Cape 
Fear river, was a bastioned, masonry fort of great strength, 
and in thorough order, but without mounted guns. Once oc- 
cupied and armed it would have been impossible for the Con- 
federates, without command of the sea, to have retaken it, 
and the port which afterwards proved of such inestimable 
value to them would have been effectually sealed. The Fed- 
eral fleets having free entrance there, would have held the 
shores on either side of the river for some distance up, and 
commanded, from a safe interior base, the entrance through 
ISTew Inlet, for the defence of which Fort Fisher was after- 
wards built, and that historic and epoch-making earthwork 
would ]ivobably never have been constructed. 

In the State at large the union sentiment was at this time 
slightly in the ascendent. In the lower Cape Fear section 
the secessionists were probably in the majority. These re- 

24 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

garded delays as dangerous, and anticipated with forebodings 
the occupation of the forts by the Union forces. 

Early in January, 1861, alarmed by the condition of af- 
fairs in Charleston harbor, they determined to risk no longer 
delay. A meeting of the citizens of Wilmington was held in 
the court house, at which Robert G. Raukin, Esq., presided, 
who afterwards gave his life for the cause on the battle field 
of Bentonville. A Committee of Safety was formed, and a 
call made for volunteers to be enrolled for instant service un- 
der the name of "Cape Fear Minute Men." The organiza- 
tion was speedily effected, John J. TIedrick being chosen com- 

On 10 January Major Hedrick and his men embarked on 
a small schooner with provisions for one week, the Commit- 
tee of Safety guaranteeing continued support and supplies, 
each man carrying such private weapons as he possessed. 
Arriving at Smithville (now Southport) at 3 p. m., they took 
possession of the United States barracks known as Fort John- 
son, and such stores as were there in charge of United States 
Ordnance Sergeant James Reilly, later Captain of Reilly's 
Battery. 'J'he same afternoon Major Hedrick took twenty 
men of his command, reinforced by Captain S. 1). Tliruston, 
commander of the "Smithville Guards," and a number of his 
men and citizens of Smithville, but all acting as individuals 
only, and proceeded to Fort Caswell, three miles across the 
bay, where they demanded, and obtained, surrender of the 
fort from the United States Sergeant in charge. 

Major Hedrick assumed command and prepared to make 
his position as secure as was possible. About twenty-five 
strong, armed only with shotguns, but sure of ample rein- 
forcements should occasion arise, these brave men determined 
to hold Fort Caswell at all hazards. In bitter cold weather 
they stood guard on the ramparts and jiatroled the beaches, 
reckoning not that, unsustained even by State authority, their 
action was treasonable rebellion jeo})ardizing their lives and 
property. There were only two 2-t-])ounder guns mounted, 
one on the sea face and one on the inner face, both carriages 
being too decayed to withstand their own recoil, but, such as 
they were, with them thev determined to defy the armv and 

A Capture Before the War. 25 

navy of the United States. The smoke of an approaching 
steamer being once descried below the horizon the alarm 
was signaled, and, believing it to be a man-of-war, the brave 
men of Smitliville flew to arms, and soon the bay was alive 
with boats hurrying them to the aid of their comrades within 
the fort. Women, as in the old days, armed sons and fath- 
ers, and urged them to tlie front. But the steamer proved to 
be a friendly one. 

Upon recei])t of unofficial information of this movement, 
Governor John W. Ellis, as Captain-General and Command- 
er-in-Chief of the JSTorth Carolina Militia, 11 January, 1861, 
addressed a letter to Colonel John L. Cantwell, commanding 
the Thirtieth Hegiment JSTorth Carolina Militia, at Wil- 
mington, in which, after stating his belief that the men were 
"actuated by patriotic motives," he continued : 

"Yet, in view of the relations existing between the Gen- 
eral Government and the State of ISTorth Carolina, there is 
no authority of law, under existing circumstances, for the 
occupation of United States forts situated in this State. I 
cannot, therefore, sustain the action of Captain Thruston, 
however patriotic his motives may have been, and am com- 
pelled, by an im})erative sense of duty, to order that Fort Cas- 
well be restored to the ])ossession of the authorities of the 
United States. 

"You will proceed to Smitliville on receipt of this commu- 
nication and communicate orders to Captain Thruston to 
withdraw his troops from Fort Caswell. Y^ou will also in- 
vestigate and report the facts to this department. 

"By order of John W., 

" C aptain-General and C ovimander-in-Cliief 
"GEAriAiM Daves, "North Carolina Militia." 

"Private Secretary and Acting Adiutant-General." 

Upon receipt of this order on the 12th, Colonel J. L. Cant- 
well notified the Governor that he would proceed at once to 
Fort Caswell, accompanied by Robert E. Calder, Acting Ad- 
jutant, and William Calder, Acting Quartermaster, two staff 
officers temporarily appointed for that duty. Transporta- 
tion facilities between Wilmington and Smithville were then 

26 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

very limited. Colonel Cantwell and his aids embarked on a 
slow sailing sloop which became becalmed within four miles- 
of Smithville. They were put into shallow water from 
whence they waded and walked to Smithville, where they 
secured, with difficulty, because the populace was almost 
unanimously opposed to their supposed mission, a pilot boat 
in which they sailed to Fort Caswell, arriving there after 

After some parleying, and not without reluctance, they 
were admitted and conducted to Major Hedrick, to whom the 
following order was delivered : 

"To Major John J. Hedrick', Commanding Fort Caswell: 

"Sir: — In obedience to the order of His Excellency, John 
W. Ellis, Governor, Etc., a copy of which I herewith trans- 
mit, it becomes my duty to direct that you withdraw the 
troops under your command from Fort Caswell, and restore 
the same to the custody of the officer of the United States^ 
whom you found in charge. Respectfully, 

"John L. Cantwell^, 
"Colonel Thirtieth North Carolina Militia. 
"Robert E. Caeder. 

"Acting Adjutant." 

The garrison asked until the next morning to consider 
what repl}' should be made and, on the morning of the 13th 
this was returned : 

"Colonel John Tj. Cantwell: 

"Sir: — Your communication, with the copy of the order 
of Governor Ellis demanding the surrender of this post, has 
been received. In reply I have to inform you that we, as 
North Carolinians, will obey his command. This post will 
be evacuated to-morroAv at 9 o'clock, a. m. 

"John J. Hedrick^ 
"George Wort mam, "Major Commanding. 

"Acting Adjutant." 

The fort was evacuated on the next day. Colonel Cant- 
well and his Aides returned to Wilmington and reported the 

A Capture Before the \Var. 27 

facts to Governor Ellis. The United States Sergeant again 
assumed control of the Government property. 

Thus matters remained in this section nntil AjDril of the 
same year, the State in the meantime drifting steadily to- 
wards secession and war, and the people sternly arming and 
preparing. The local military companies in Wilmington 
were frilly recruited, and the former "^Minute Men" per- 
manently organized as the "Cape Fear Light Artillery," un- 
der which name they served through the war. 

On 14 April came the firing upon Fort Sumter, followed 
on the ir)th l)y a call from the Secretary of War upon the 
Governor of North Carolina for "two regiments of military 
for immediate service." Immediately the Governor tele- 
graphed orders to Colonel J. L. Cantwell, at Wilmington, 
"to take Forts Caswell and Johnson without delay, and hold 
them until further orders against all comers." Colonel 
Cantwell, as commander of the Thirtieth Regiment North 
Carolina Militia, promptly issued orders to "the officers in 
command of the Wilmington Light Infantry, the German 
Volunteers, and the Wilmington Rifle Guards, to assemble 
fully armed and equipped this afternoon" (15th), which 
was promptly obeyed. 

On the morning of the 16th the Governor telegraphed 
Colonel Cantwell to proceed at once to the forts "and take 
possession of the same in the name of the State of North 
Carolina. This measure being one of precaution merely, 
you will observe strictly a peaceful policy, and act only on 
the defensive." The force under Colonel Cantwell's orders 
moved promptly. It consisted of the Wilmington T>ight In- 
fantry, Captain W. L. DeRosset ; the German Volunteers, 
Captain C. Cornehlson ; the Wilmington Rifle Guards, Cap- 
tain O. P. Meares ; and the Cape Fear Light Artillery, Lieu- 
tenant James M. Stevenson, commanding. At 4 p. m., 
United States Sergeant James Reilly surrendered the post at 
Fort Johnson, where Lieutenant Stevenson was left in com- 
mand with his company. The remainder of the battalion, 
under Colonel J. L. Cantwell, proceeded to Fort Caswell and 
took possession at 6 :20 p. m., Sergeant Walker, of the United 
States Army, being placed in close confinement in his quar- 

28 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

ters "in consequence of the discovery of repeated attempts to 
communicate with his government." 

Officers and men worked with vigor to mount guns and pre- 
pare for defence, and the work never ceased until the fall of 
Fort Fisher in 18G5, and the necessary abandonment of the 
defences of the lower harbor. The Wilmington Light In- 
fantry were soon after sent to Federal Point, where, in Bat- 
tery Bolles, they began the first defensive works which af- 
terward grew into Fort Fisher, and its outlying batteries. 

Thus was war inaugurated in North Carolina more than 
a montli prior to the act of secession, and it is a noteworthy 
fact that the news of the act dissolving its connection with the 
Union, and the call upon her sons to arm themselves was first 
made known to the pioneer troops of the Cape Fear on the 
parade ground at Fort Caswell. 

John L. Cantwell. 

Wilmington, N. C, 

10 January, 1901. 


21 JULY, 1861. 

By brigadier-general THOMAS L. CLINGMAN. 

On that (lay, General Beauregard was kind enough to lend 
me one of his horses, and during the entire battle, I was 
either with him or General Joseph E. Johnston. I will now 
confine my statement to the narration merely of some facts 
connected with the conduct of Colonel Fisher's regiment 
Between two and three a. m., our army seemed to be most 
pressed, the enemy then having gotten farthest in his ad- 
vance, on our left flank. Besides large masses of the enemy 
which had driven back our small force there engaged, Rick- 
ett's six-gun battery was pushed far forward to a point on 
the left of General Johnston's position, concealed, however, 
by a skirt of pine trees. Its shots passed by us and went 
many of them nearly a mile to the rear. Its rapid firing 
from this advanced position, indicated to every one the ad- 
vantage our adversaries had gained, and the situation seemed 
most critical. I felt confident that if the enemy could long 
maintain that position, our center would give way. General 
Johnston evidently impressed with the gravity of the situa- 
tion, exclaimed in a loud, earnest voice, ''If I just had three 
regiments! Just three regiments!" 

I looked to the rear through the open field and said, "Here 
they are. General." He took a hasty glance to the rear and 
said, '"They are too far ofi". I want them now!" The near- 
est of the regiments v>^as within less than a quarter of a mile. 
The men were bending forw^ard, marching up the hill as fast 
as possiWe. They passed seventy or eighty yards to the left 
and entered the pines, moving by the flank, directly towards 
Rickett's Battery. The other two regiments were slower in 
getting forward, and passed some hundreds of yards to our 
left. As the regiment which had marched so near went out 
of view among the pines, an ofiicer left it and came up to me. 

30 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

He was Dr. Caldwell, the Surgeon, and informed me that it 
was Colonel Fisher's regiment that had gone in. I expressed 
to him my regret that I had not known it, that I might have 
spoken to the Colonel and other officers. I waited anxiously 
the result. The enemy were still pressing on ; this battery 
and others were .incessantly throwing their shot far to our 
rear, while the musketry fire on our side was slack. 

It ought to he stated, that as the enemy had turned our 
left flank with the larger part of his active fighting force 
earl}' in the day, as fast as our regiments could be gotten up 
they went in, and the collision was accompanied by heavy 
musketry discharges on both sides. As our troops were, how- 
ever, very greatly outnumbered by the masses of the enemy, 
and outflanked, they were forced back wdth much loss, and 
there would be a slackening of the musketry fire. The en- 
emy thus, by overlajiping our left, was able to make a steady 
advance, and was then getting in the rear of our center, or 
rather might soon have been there. 

Within fifteen minutes or less after Fisher's regiment 
passed out of view, suddenly the crash of musketry was 
louder than it had been at any time during the day. That 
battery suddenly become silent. It did not fire another gun 
that dav. The heavy musketry fire continued for more than 
half an hour and gradually become fainter. At length there 
was a dead pause for some moments. Believing the battle 
was over, 1 took out my watch. It was then precisely 4 
^'clock. There was no other musketry firing that day, till 
late in the evening near Centreville. 

I will now briefly state what had occurred. Colonel Fisher 
moved his regiment by the flank into the pines. Immedi- 
ately in front of them, and on his right as he marched ob- 
liquely towards the left of our line, there was an open field. 
In it, about sixty yards from the woods, Rickett's Battery 
was stationed. From it, towards the woods, the ground 
slightly rose, so that he was obliged to elevate his guns a lit- 
tle, that his shot might pass over the ridge at the border of the 
field. Outside of the field the ground descended into the 
wood. Colonel Fisher at the head of his regiment passed 
just inside the wood, below the crest of the ridge, along 

The Battle of Manassas. 31 

gromid which was rising a little. Thus he did not see the 
battery until he, with some companies, had rather passed it. 
Captain Isaac Avery's company was just opposite the bat- 
tery. Finding themselves in this dangerous proximity, his 
•company and others near them fired suddenly into the bat- 
tery, only sixty yards distant. This fire killed most of the 
cannoneers as well as their horses. The men ran down on 
them, and finished the survivors with their muskets and 
bowie knives. Immediately after this. Colonel Fisher, 
having passed over the battery, received a ball in the brain 
and fell dead about thirty yards in the rear of the battery 
they had taken. Captain Isaac xVvery stated to me that 
while he Avas sitting for a moment on one of the captured 
pieces, he saw Colonel Fisher, who had moved forward to re- 
connoitre seemingly, but was waving his rifle above his head 
triumphantly. After his death, the regiment was obliged to 
abandon the guns, not by the enemy's fire, but by that of our 
own men. 

There was a regiment they thought from Alabama, on 
their left, but about two hundred yards in their rear, which 
continued to fire on them. It was this fire that killed young 
Mangum and several others. IMany think it probable that 
Colonel Fisher himself was thus killed. As his regiment 
had gotten so far in front, and was on ground so lately occu- 
pied by the enemy in heavy force, the mistake was made. 
The regiment was thus obliged to abandon the battery, but 
it was never used, or ever retaken by the enemy. I saw Lieu- 
tenant Douglas Ramsey Ijdng dead among the guns at the 
close of the fight, while the Captain (Rickett), wounded, was 
carried oft' a prisoner by our men. 

I can vouch for the accuracy of the above statements, 
partly from what I saw, and also chiefly from conversations, 
which I had on that day and the succeeding one, with officers 
and privates well known to me. The official reports of Bar- 
ry, the Chief of the Federal artillery, and of General Heint- 
zelman, both confirm the truth of these statements. They 
said that this battery of Rickett's was pushed forward far in 
advance, and that a regiment on our side come up within 
sixty or seventy yards of it, and by a well directed fire disa- 

32 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

bled it. Captain Kickett himself, while a j^risoiier, I was 
told about that time, said that as soon as he saw this regiment, 
he directed his guns to be lowered so that he could fire into 
it, but that before his order could be executed the regiment 
fired and disabled hiin, killed Lieutenant Ramsey and most 
of his gunners. This declaration of his confirms what sev- 
eral members of Captain Avery's company from Yancey 
told me at the time. They said "that battery would have 
ruined us but they were firing over our heads." Captain 
Avery told me that as soon as he saw the battery, he without 
waiting orders, directed his men to fire. 

It may be asked why these facts so honorable to Colonel 
Fisher and his regiment have not been officially or publicly 
recognized '. Colonel Fisher was himself killed and his only 
field officer then with the regiment, w^as Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel Lightfoot, who unfortunately, was not in the battle. 
He, with the two rear companies, was by some means sepa- 
rated from the balance of the regiment, as it was marching 
into battle. I saw him, and these two companies in the rear, 
after the battle had ended. The officers stated that while 
under his immediate conmiand, as the regiment was march- 
ing forAvard into the battle, they were separated from the 
other eight companies. Lightfoot, in their presence, for 
it was a general conversation, complained very much of Col- 
onel Fisher l^ecause he carried the regiment into action by the 
flank. He gave no other reason for not being in the en- 
gagement. Some days afterwards, when I urged him to 
make such a reiDort as would do justice to Colonel Fisher and 
the regiment, he merely reiterated his complaints about the 
regiment being carried into battle by the flank. ^Not having 
been in the battle himself, his report was not of such a char- 
acter as to afford a proper knowledge of the affair. 

I appealed to General Jos. E. .Johnston and requested him 
to have tlie facts made public, l)ut he replied that in making 
out his report he could only give such statements as come up 
to him from the reports of his subordinates. 

The service of Colonel Fisher and his regiment can not be 
over estimated on this occasion. Let it be admitted that it 
was a mere accident that he should have thus moved up by 

The Battle of Manassas. S3 

the flank (the best mode in which he conld have moved), 
and thus gotten just to the place where he ought to have been. 
The opportunity thus afforded was rightly used, and most 
fortunately for the success of our army. Xeither then, nor 
at any time since, have I doubted that this movement saved 
the day to the Confederacy. If the gallant and noble Fisher, 
by this dasli, lost his life, who did more during the long and 
arduous struggle I Having from that day to this determined 
to endeavor to have justice done to his splendid and heroic 
action, I avail mvself of this occasion to sav something in 
that behalf. I saw him for the last time two weeks before 
his death, and his bright looks and generous words of thanks 
to me, for a slight service I had been able to render him and 
his command, are too vividly before me to allow me to let the 
occasion pass by without a brief tribute to his memory. 

Tkos. L. Clingman. 


21 July, 1874. 


29 AUGUST, 1561. 

Diary of MAJOR THOMAS SPARROW, Tenth Regiment, (1 Art.) 
North Carolina Troops. 

Portsmouth, X. C, 27 August, Tuesday. The privateer 
steamer Goixlon ran into the inlet some time in the afternoon, 
and put David Ireland and two others of the crew on the 
shore. They re])orted in camp, the appearance of a fleet of 
United States steamers, seen off Hatteras, after they left that 
inlet. This news corresponded with a letter previously re- 
ceived by Captain W. T. Muse, of the navy, giving notice of 
the expedition. 

Captains Tamb and Clements were at Portsmouth from 
Hatteras attending a court-martial. These gentlemen ex- 
j^ressed their desire to return to their commands at Hatteras 
that night. I detailed Privates Wm. H. Hanks and Wood- 
ley to take the steaiuer ]\[. E. Downing to carry them. They 
left in the steamer about 10 o'clock. 

Dnring the afternoon I went to Fort Ocracoke with Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel G. W. Johnston, Major H. A. Gilliam, Cap- 
tains Luke, Company D ; John C. Lamb, Company A, and 
Clements, and took with me vSergeant William H. Von Eber- 
stein to assist in the defence of the fort, and to act as Ord- 
nance Officer. Lie went immediately to work preparing car- 
tridges and putting things in order. 

August 28, Wednesday. — I rose and dressed at reveille and 
went on drill with the company on the parade ground, near 
the church. Drilled two hours. 

On return from the drill. Major Gilliam called me to the 
front fence and stated that Colonel Martin had sent a dis- 
patch, ordering all the forces at Ocracoke to Hatteras, and 
requesting me to go. (I had been released from service in 
the Seventeenth Regiment, and was expecting orders to join 
Colonel Tew's Regiment in Virginia.) I at once gave or- 

36 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

ders for the men to get breakfast, prepare two days' provis' 
ions, pack their knapsacks, take tent flys (for they had no 
tents), and prepare to embark. 

I aj)pointed T. Hardenburgh a lance Sergeant, and left 
him in charge of the camp, giving him written orders. 
Among these was one, that he shonld request Mr. B. J. Hanks 
to take certain of my coimmand expected from Washington, 
on the steamer Col. Hill, to Hatteras in the afternoon. An- 
other was on the approach of an enemy to take all the valua- 
ble baggage and the remaining men in camp to Fort Ocracoke, 
and if defeated in an attempt to do this, then to make the 
best of his way up the sound to Washington. 

The Washington Grays, forty-nine in number, exclusive 
of conmiissioned officers, were in line, uniformed and equips 
ped at 10 o'clock. I marched to the wharf, and embarked 
them for Hatteras, on the schooner Pantheon. 

The Morris Guards, Tar River Boys, and Hertford Light 
Infantry, embarked in other vessels. 

The Morris Guards took a vessel at Beacon Island, and so 
had several hours advantage. The others were towed by the 
steamer Ellis. Captain Muse embarked on her. So they 
had an advantage. 

Wind and tide being against us, we took a longer route 
round Royal Shoals, and so were the last to arrive at Hat- 
teras. The Ellis, with her tow, was only a half mile or so 
ahead of us when we arrived. 

When within ten or twelve miles from the inlet, we began 
to see the fleet off the fort, first from the rigging, then from 
the deck. As we drew nearer we began to count them — one, 
two, four, ten, thirteen ! There is a large fellow — there three 
others — there the small ones ! Occasionally a gun was heard, 
then another — then three or four in quick succession. 

The breeze freshened and favored us, and we began to 
make the fort and all about it very plainly. The decks 
and gunwales became crowded with men eager to see the bom- 
bardment, insomuch that the helmsman, a negro, could hardly 
see to steer the vessel. I had to order them constantly to 
trim the vessel. 

We soon had the fleet and both forts in full view. The 

The Fall of Hatteras. 37 

Tar Kiver Boys were just ahead of us, towed in by the 
steamer Ellis. The Morris Guards were in a schooner at 
anchor near the Swash. We followed hard after the Ellis. 

We had an uninterrupted view of the fight. It was be- 
yond description. There lay the formidable fleet of large 
and small vessels off Forts Clark and Hatteras, and seem- 
ingly in the inlet, was a steamer of moderate dimensions, af- 
terwards known to be the Monticello. 

Part of the fleet were firing upon Fort Clark, and part 
upon Fort Hatteras, but the principal engagement seemed to 
be between Hatteras and the Monticello. We could trace 
every shot fired at the latter, and see every gun fired by her. 
Souie fell to the right of her, but a number we could see went 
into her. Fight struck her hull, and several penetrated 
through and thi-ough. We thought from our position that 
both forts returned the fire. This we afterwards learned to 
be a mistake. Fort Clark did not reply, being at that time 
in possession of the enemy. It was hard sometimes to dis- 
tinguish bet\\een the bursting of a shell in the fort, and a 
gun fired from it. Almost every shot was remarked by the 
eager men on board. There goes the big fort — there goes 
the little fort — that shot was too high — that too far to the 
right— -that one plugged her in the side, good for that, boys. 
There goes a broadside from the big steamer! How the 
shell burst over the fort! What beautiful white clouds of 
smoke they make I Such were some of the oft-repeated re- 
marks made by the men around me. 

I had never before seen a shell explode. It was sometime 
before I got to understand the thing. I saw from time to 
time beautiful little puft's of white, silvery smoke hanging 
over the fort without at first being able to account for them. 
I soon learned to know tliat it was where a shell had burst in 
the air, leaving the smoke or gas behind it, while the frag- 
ments had descended on their mission of destruction. As 
remarked before, there was such a continual roar of artillery, 
that we could not at our distance of one, two and three miles 
distinguish the bursting of a shell from the firing of a gun. 

At three-quarters of a mile from shore the Ellis grounded. 
The schooner in tow of her, containing the Tar River Boys. 

38 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

was then detached to come to an anchor. The schooner with 
Captain Gilliam's company, was at anchor outside of all of 
us. We had passed her. This, as well as I could judge, was 
near 5 o'clock. My pilot did not know the way through the 
channel to the fort. 

About this time the firing had almost ceased on both sides, 
and the Monticello had hauled off the inlet. 

What was to be done 'I I came to anchor, had the boat 
lowered, and went off to the Ellis. Captain Muse informed 
me (by hail) that Fort Clark had surrendered, and that two 
men had been killed. He offered me a pilot, Mr. Mayo, and 
put him in my boat. I returned immediately to the Fan- 
ilu'ou, ordering the anchor to be Aveighed before I boarded. 

Just then two boats with Captain Muse, Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel Johnston, and others, pulled from the Ellis towards the 
shore. T was off in a few moments, beating up the channel, 
towards Fort Hatteras. When this was discovered by the 
enemy, they began to fire rifle shot and shell at u:*. The 
shells fell short, but the rifle shot flew by us in quick succes- 
sion. T had to make great exertions to keep my men below 
decks, out of the way of the shots. I remained on deck near 
the galley. Soon we discovered crowds of men sitting on the 
outside of the fort. We knew not what to make of it. No 
flag was flying in the fort, and I began to think that all was 

I ordered two hands in the boat, and pulled for the shore. 
The shot continued to fly over and beyond us, but none took 
effect. Landing, I gave orders that the vessel should go close 
to the shore, and disemliark the men as soon as possible. I 
then hastened to the fort, and entered through the sally-port. 

The soldiers sitting on the outside of the parapet, and on 
each side of the sally-port, looked fatigued and care-worn, 
but their faces lighted up as I saluted them, gave them a 
word of encouragement and passed into the fort. I found 
the men standing about in various directions, some with 
arms, others with muskets stacked, and all lookina; glad that 
the day's fight was over, and that reinforcements had arrived. 
They openly expressed joy at this latter occurrence. Cap- 
tain Lamb greeted me shortlv after I entered. He was as 

The Fall of Hatteras. 39 

cheerful as usual and said he had defended Fort Clark during 
the morning until he had shot away nearly every pound of 
powder. On the front of the fort facing the ocean leaning 
against a traverse, I fouiid Colonel Martin, Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel Johnston and Captain Clements. The Colonel seemed 
feeble and worn out. All expressed the opinion that we 
should be attacked at night by the enemy's forces in posses- 
sion of Fort Clark. Estimated at about eight hundred. 

The PanfJieon containing the Washington Grays, sailed 
close into the shore and soon landed the men. I ordered 
Jesse Liverman, one of the cooks, to be sent up to assist in pre- 
paring coffee and food for tlio soldiers. A Yankee cook, 
from one of the prize schooners (the Samuel Chase), I or- 
dered to be kept on board, fearing that he might desert, and 
communicate with the enemy. I also ordered E. Harvey and 
A. Buckstarf to be kept on board to guard the vessel and pre- 
vent the hands from running her off. I did not allow the 
knapsacks of the company to be landed, fearing they might 
fall into the bands of the enemy. For the same reason I did 
not allow the tent flys to be lauded. 

I anticipated rhe result before leaving Portsmouth, and 
wrote a letter to my wife prejiaring her for the worse. I 
knew the enemy could shell us from the ocean, and that the 
armament of tlie fort was not sufficient for a successful re- 
sistance. I told the Adjutant-General this in Raleigh the 
last time 1 was in that city. 

All the men in the fort were in want of nourishment, my 
own men and self included. We got a little bread and coffee, 
but this was not general. 

The Winsloir, Confederate States steamer, arrived after 
dark, bringing Commodore Barron, Lieutenants Murdaugh 
and Wise, of the navy. Major AV. S. G. Andrews, Captain 
Muse and several of liis midsln]mien and sailors also came 
into the fort. 

Cjolonel ]\[artin and Major Andrews voluntarily surren- 
dered the command to Commodore Barron, who thereupon, 
assumed it. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Johnston had entered the fort a little in 
advance of myself. Major Gilliam arrived after dark. 

40 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

Tlie night was somewhat advanced before the Morris 
Guards and Hertford Light Infantry got into the fort. 

It became difficult after dark to find an officer until by 
common consent the tent of Captain Calioon, in the south 
angle of the fort, towards Fort Clark, became headquarters 
and remained so for the balance of the time, until the sur- 


A sort of consultation was held on the steps near the navy 
gun, by Commodore Barron and the superior officers, at which 
I chanced to be present. 

Lieutenant-CJolonel Johnston remarked to me that he in- 
tended to take "that concern," meaning Fort Clark, during 
tlie night. This project was discussed and inquiry made as 
to the number of the enemy on the beach. The impression I 
derived from the answers of Captains Clements, Lamb and 
others, were that they numbered from seven hundred to eight 
hundred. They had landed howitzers and ritie guns, and 
had possession of two field pieces abandoned by our forces 
that morning. The forces in the fort w^ere worn down with 
fasting and fatigue. Part only of the forces from Ocracoke 
were landed, and it was well in the night before all were on 

We were short of shell, powder and shot, provisions and 
water. All these had to be got into the fort. We had to 
send off for candles, as not one was to be had in the fort. 
These were needed for the Ordnance Officer to make up car- 
tridges for the morrow's use. It was concluded that we 
might hold the fort another day, and that on the night fol- 
lowing we should take Fort Clark. It was also resolved that 
we should waste no ammunition, and should fire only when 
we could so do, with effect. 

T was ordered to detail an officer to take charge of a picket 
guard of one hundred men and to select thirty men from my 
own company for this duty. I named Lieutenant James J. 
Whitehurst to take charge of the guard, and ordered him to 
select from our company thirty men, which he did. I was 
also ordered by Major Andrews to select a force from the 
various companies, and to get a 10-inch Columbiad from the 

The P'all of Hatteras. 41 

sound side into the fort, and to put it into position during 
the night. I detailed ten men frum my company, ten from 
Captain Sharp's, and five each from four other companies 
for this duty. I gave charge of the whole to Private Wil- 
liam B. Willis, who was a ship carpenter, and had handled 
heavy guns successfully at Ocracoke. 

There was no block and tackle, nor anything of the sort, 
and no shears that could he used in moving or handling the 
guns. We succeeded in getting a line and some pieces of 
scantling for slides. 

I was engaged at the shore iu a seemingly vain effort to 
move the Columbiad, with our imperfect means, A\hen I was 
ordered to desist by Major Andrews, he alleging as a reason 
for the order that "there were neither 10-inch shot nor shell 
in the fort, and therefore the gun would be useless if 


Besides such of my men as were on picket duty, and other 
duty, some of them with Lieutenant Shaw, were occupied in 
landing men, water and ammunition a good part of the night. 
This left hut few in the fort, not on duty. These I left with 
Sergeant Bobbins behind the second traverse from the sally- 
port, facing the inlet, where they remained during the night. 
They leaned with their muskets against the traverses and slept 
upon the gun platforms as best they could, without blankets 
or covering of any sort. 

There came u]i a little scud of rain in the night, and to 
protect their muskets the men generally turned them butt up- 
wards, with the bayonets in the sand. 

The soldiers were some in the bomb-proof, some against 
the bomb-proof on the outside, some behind the traverses, 
some <ui the ])latforms, and some in the tents. 

I slept but little — not half an hour in all. I sat in Cap- 
tain Cahoon's tent with Colonel Martin at times, tried to 
sleep in my chair a little, and would go tlience to where my 
few men were. I always found Sergeant Bobbins awake. 


Washington Grays, Captain Sparrow, four officers and 
forty-seven men. (Company G, Seventeenth jST. C. T.) 

42 North Carolina Troops, 1861 -'65. 

Independent Grays, Captain Cahoon, four officers and six- 
ty-nine men. 

Roanoke Guards, Captain Jno. C. Lamb, three officers and 
ninety-eight men. (Company A, Seventeenth N. C. T.) 

Morris Guards, Captain Gilliam, four officers and sixty- 
four men. 

Hamilton Guards, Captain Clements. 

Tar River Boys, Captain Johnston. 

Hertford Light Infantry, Captain Thos. H. Sharp, three 
officers and sixty-four men. (Company C, Seventeenth N. C.) 

Preston Guards, Captain Duke, three officers and sixty- 
six men. 

North Carolina Defenders, Captain Luke, three officers 
and forty-seven men. (Company D, Seventeenth N". C. T.) 

Lenoir Braves, Captain Sutton, three officers and — men. 


Just before day, while it was yet dark, a body of men were 
seen to approach the fort from the direction of the inlet. In 
the dusk of the morning it looked like a large force. I at 
once took it to be the returning pickets, but others insisted 
that it looked too large. Quite a stir was made in the fort. 
All tlie men were called to arms, the guns bearing on the 
inlet and on the sally-port were shotted with grape, and the 
men stood readv to fire. I could not understand how so larg-e 
a force could have passed the pickets without creating an 
alarm, but then they might have landed in the inlet. It 
Avas well enough to be cautious. .V man was sent out to 
challenge the force, but no answer was heard. The excite- 
ment grew quite intense. Soon I recognized the voice of 
Lieutenant Whitehurst and called out that it was the picket 
guard. This did not at first give satisfaction. Finally all 
became assured, and the guard came into the fort and re- 

They had advanced to within a few yards of Fort Clark 
and had seen no signs of the enemy. We learned afterwards 
that only a small force was left there, and that they got drunk 
on the whiskey found there and went to sleep. This is told 

The Fall of Hatteras. 43 

me by one of the free negroes who remained there. The fort 
might have been retaken had the fact been known. 


August :20, Thursday. — The cooks had been kept busy all 
night providing food and coffee for the men. Some time 
after daylight, all got some, but not much. Fasting, want of 
sleep, and anxiety had quite exhausted me. A cup of coffee 
and a little whiskey and sugar given me by Captain Clem- 
ents quite revived me. 

The companies that had come from Ocracoke were to man 
the guns, while the men who ]iad been on duty the day be- 
fore were to be relieved. 

I was ordered to form four detachments from my com- 
pany, of eight men each and a gunner. They were to have 
charge of the guns bearing on the inlet, one a 32 and one an 
8-inch howitzer. The detachments were to be in charge of 
one of my Lieutenants, and I was ordered to visit them in 
person during the fight. I appointed the following gunners : 
Sergeant Potts, Private Willis, Engineer Cornell and C. K. 
Gallagher (a volunteer). 

Gallagher came in port from tlie brig //. C. Brooks, on 
which he was bound for Liverpool. He was fond of gun- 
nery, was drilled at Beacon Island and I gave him a gun 
first assigned to W. W. Cordon. He was not called upon to 
fire it. 

I gave the first detachment to Lieutenant W. Shaw, and 
the second to Lieutenant A. J. Thomas, who was to relieve 
the first every two hours. 

The Tar lliver Boys had charge of two 32-pounders on 
the same face of the fort as my two, facing the inlet, and to 
the left of mine. 

IMy first two detachments and the Tar River Boys pi-ac- 
ticed at the drill of their guns, and received special instruc- 
tions from Major Andrews as to the elevation of their guns. 

The Morris Guards were assigned to two guns which bore 
on the enemy, to-wit : The 8-inch howitzer in the pancoup 
(or angle) bearing on the inlet and ocean (southeast), and 
the Basket 32 near this. A traverse was between them. 

44 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

The 32 on the left of this was mounted on a ship carriage, 
on an elevated platform and was very slightly protected by 
the parapet. This gun was in charge of Lieutenant Mur- 
daugh, and a force from the naval steamer Ellis. 

Stewart Johnson had charge of the howitzer in the angle. 
Lieutenant Grimes the 32 left of the traverse. 

These three guns were the only ones fired during the en- 

The Hertford Light Infantry liad charge of a 32-pounder 
on the face of the fort looking towards Hatteras woods, and 
Fort Clark. During the night pal't of the traverse had been 
taken down, so as to bring this gun to bear on the rear of 
Fort Clark. Captain Sharp commanded here in person. 


It was determined that only those on duty should remain 
in the fort. The detachments to man the guns were to re- 
main near them, and the reliefs were to stay in the bomb- 
proof until called for. 

All the men not on duty were ordered outside of the par- 
apet facing the sound for their protection. I was ordered 
not to fire a gun until the enemy should come within full 
range of our g-uns. 

Just to the right of my guns was a traverse, already spoken 
of as the one where my men slept during the night. Just be- 
hind this I posted my men, so as to be in readiness to man and 
fire their guns when called upon. Here I remained some 
time before and in the early part of the bombardment. Here 
not a man was wounded. 

Before the action commenced I was standing on the para- 
pet near the pancoup facing the inlet and ocean, with Com- 
modore Barron, Colonel Bradford and others, when bang, 
bang, went some rifles at Fort Clark, and at the same time the 
balls went whistling over our heads. The Germans there 
seeing us on the walls, took us as a target for their pieces. 
We got out of the way, of course. They continued to fire at 
the fort for some time without doing any harm. 

When guns were assigned to me, the first thought that oc- 
curred to me was that owing to the position the enemy's ships 

The Fall of Hatteras. 45 

had taken, there was no protection for my men, as they would 
be subjected to a raking* fire from them. 

Ivooking from my guns seaward, I could see the broadside 
of the Minnesota between the rear of the two traverses at 
that angle of tlie fort. It was obvious that they would be un- 
protected at their guns. 

I immediately took Commodore Barron, Colonel Martin, 
and Major Andrews to the parapet and pointed out to them 
this defect. Orders were immediately issued to Mr. Allen, 
the engineer, to take down a traverse in the rear of the fort 
and extend one in the angle named (at right angles to the 
face fronting the inlet) so as to protect the guns manned by 
my men. It was only half completed when the firing com- 
menced, so the guns were unprotected. In the engagement 
both were disabled by shells from the Minnesota. 

The large vessels had steamed oif some distance from the 
shore at night, and the smaller ones took shelter in a bight 
under the cape near the shore. 

At early dawn their heavy outlines could be descried off 
the bar to seaward, in all their formidable array. As the 
morning wore away about 7 o'clock, a signal was fired from 
the flag-ship Minnesota, and soon the fleet were in motion for 
the shore. They moved in, took their positions with appar- 
ent deliberation and came to anchor. The bombarding fleet 
consisted of the following vessels: Flag-ship Minnesota, 74 
gims; Susquehannah, 74 guns; Cumberland, 74 guns; Wa- 
hash, 74 guns ; Harriet Lane, 7 guns. 

The Cwinherland came into action after the rest had begun 
to fire. The Harriet Lane joined them but did not confine 
herself to one position. 

The action lasted three hours and twenty minutes. Such 
a bombardment is not on record in the annals of war. Xot 
less than three thousand shells were fired by the enemy during 
the three hours. As many as twenty-eight in one minute 
were known to fall within and about the fort. 

It was like a hailstorm, and how so many escaped is known 
only to Providence, who sheltered and preserved us. On 
this subject see the official reports of Commodore Barron, 

4§ North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

Major Andrews and Colonel Martin, which with the reports 
of Commodore Stringhani, I have preserved. 

How shall I describe the bombardment — how give an idea 
of what was going on in various parts of the fort — how ex- 
press my ideas and imjiressions upon such a subject ? It 
would be a hopeless task. 

J was standing with my men behind the traverse spoken 
of, near the inlet, when the first shot was fired. This was 
according to our time twenty minutes before 8 o'clock. Ac- 
cording to Commodore Stringham's account it was 8 o'clock. 
We were all ready and expecting it. As the report reached 
us, some one called out, ''There they go, look out !" and all 
instinctively leaned closely against the traverse. The next 
moment the sharp, shrill whistle of the shell was heard. It 
came from the direction of the Susquehannah and passed 
right over us. It was followed in rapid succession by others, 
which fell in all sorts of directions, some of them falling 

The flag was planted on the traverse next to the sally-port, 
just beyond us, under my directions. It was found to afford 
a mark for the enemy and in about an hour was taken down. 
I sent John Blount to do it, but he called on W. B. Wil- 
lis, who mounted the parapet, flaunted it at the enemy and 
then brought it down. It was in the hottest of the fight. 

The place where I was standing was very much crowded 
and I concluded to seek shelter elsewhere in a position con- 
venient to my guns. I was told not to fire without orders, 
unless an attempt was made to force the inlet. I therefore 
sought the entrance to the magazine, a few feet distant, and 
directly opposite my guns. Lieutejiant Carraway was in the 
magazine passing out the powder as it was called for. In the 
entrance v/ith me were J^ieutenant JSTorman, Colonel Martin 
and part of the time Lieutenants Whitehurst, Thomas, Shaw 
and others. It was a vei'y dangerous place, but oflicers and 
men were continually coming and going. It was close and 
intolerably hot. We had to keep our hats going as fans to 
keep up a circulation of air. 

The naval gun commanded by Lieutenant Murdaugh, and 
the guns commanded by Lieutenants Johnson and Grimes, 

The Fall of Hatteras. 47 

returned the lire of the enemy, but it was discovered that the 
greatest elevation we could get, our guns did not reach the 
enemy. Tt was therefore a one-sided business. It became a 
question of endurance on our ])art. Could we hold out during 
the day we would tiike the enemy in Fort Clark at night. 

While in the magazine I could readily distinguish be- 
tween the enemy's guns, the ex^dosion of their shells and our 
guns. When we fired the concussion shook the entire bomb- 
proof. We could tell when every sliell was falling. Many 
of the fragments fell at the door. Had a shell fallen there 
we would have all been killed. We could hear them fall and 
explode all around and about us. Some came so near that 
I became alarmed for the safety of the magazine. The door 
beyond us had to be kept open to give air to Lieutenant Cara- 
way, and to enable him to pass out the powder as it was called 

While here, the news of the killing of one, and the wound- 
ing of another would be brought in by the men. Here I 
heard of Lieutenant Murdaugh's misfortune, and that Com- 
modore Barron was killed. This ])roved to be a mistake. 
When a shell or ball would strike the bomb-proof or a tra- 
verse, it would be with a very peculiar thud and all would 
listen for the explosion. In this we would some times be 
disappointed. It was because some of the shells did not ex- 
])lode as they fell. 

During all this ])art of the engagement W. B. Willis had 
stood by his gnu, and could not l)e induced to leave it. Col- 
onel Martin once ordered him to leave. He stood upon the 
carriage and gave notice to the men whenever a shell was 
coming, fearless as to himself. 

My men and Captain Johnston's were all ordered to leave 
their guns, and take care of themselves as best they could. 
They all remained behind the traverses. One of John- 
ston's men was killed, and one of mine knocked down behind 
one of these. 

On leaving the magazine (having been there nearly an 
hour), I went where Grimes was firing his gun, on the front 
of the work. The shells were flying rapidly. I took shelter 
beneath the parapet. In a few seconds I was covered with 

48 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

sand and earth. A shell struck the parapet just over me 
and covered uie. I got up and retreated to the end of the ad- 
joining" traverse, where were Lieutenant Moore and others. 
I held my head down and brushed the dirt from my neck and 

I went next to the end of a traverse near the southeast 
angle of the fort (towards Fort Clark), and hack of Captain 
Cahoon's tent already spoken of. 

Here were Commodore Barron, Major Andrews and oth- 
ers. The tents were all on this (east) side of the fort, and 
the enemy made a mark of them as afterwards learned. The 
shells now fell with fearful eifect in all parts of the fort, and 
on the bomb-proof, but more especially on this side. The 
tents and wood kitchens were literally torn to pieces. 

I remained at the traverse during the rest of the bombard- 
ment, some times in front of it, and once between it and the 
parapet. It was while I was there that it was damaged by 
tliree shells, and the top torn all to pieces. 

While here there came over me a feeling of perfect secu- 
rity, not to say indifference. 1 could tell every shot that 
was to pass by and every one that was to fall. The one had a 
rapid, sharj^, shrill sound ; the other a dull, hoarse sound, as 
if ahnost exhausted. We would hear them strike with a thud 
and in a second look and listen for the explosion. Looking 
up I would see many of them fly rapidly over seemingly on 
an eager mission of destruction, fall just beyond the parapet, 
and send into the air a column of sand and water. Here the 
men were huddled together. I saw many pass in this way. 
The only uneasiness I felt was on account of the men, several 
hundreds of whom were on the outside unprotected, where 
most of the shells were falling and exploding. Almost every 
minute some one was brought in from there Avounded, and 
taken to the bomb-proof, where the surgeon was dressing 
wounds. More persons were wounded here than anywhere 

I was standing at one time at the corner of the traverse, 
and stooped down to say a word to Major Andrews. At that 
instant a rifle shot from Fort Clark passed through the cor- 
ner of the traverse where my head had been but a second 

The Fall of Hatteras. 49 

before. It made a beautiful clean, round hole. It was 
while here that a shell exploded on the traverse above me, and 
a fragment tore my coat from my left shoulder and pene- 
trated to the tail, tearing it badly. While lying on one side 
of this traverse, leaning on my elbow, very much at ease, a • 
large fragment of shell fell from the air on the platform at 
my side, when there had been no explosion for some seconds. 
It came like an aerolite, seemingly without cause and very 
much surprised me. While here another shell struck a gvm 
near by, glanced off, bounded over the parapet, exploded, and 
sent up an awful column of sand and water. 

I was at one time in conversation with the officers in com- 
mand at the end of the traverse, when a bomb fell with tre- 
mendous noise and force near our feet and exploded. I fell 
round the end of the traverse and all the rest huddled to- 
gether, ^o one was hurt. 

For the last hour the enemy seemed to have got our range 
exactly, and almost every shot fired from their ships fell into 
a7id about the fort. We had long ceased to fire, as we could 
not reach the enemy, and to man the guns was a useless ex- 
posure of the men. It became apparent that in an hour or 
tA\'o every man must be either killed or wounded. 

It was now nearly 11 o'clock and matters were becoming 
momentarily worse. Commodore Barron called a council 
of all the staff officers and Captains, at the end of the para- 
pet I have so long been speaking about. He said : "You see 
hoAv it is. We cannot do the enemy any harm. Our guns 
do not reach them. Our men are all exposed and we cannot 
protect them. What shall be done ?" We discussed the 
propriety of a retreat. All favored this if it were practica- 
ble, in preference to a surrender. There were serious doubts 
of this. All the vessels were a mile or more from us and we 
had no boats. They would be exposed to the enemy's shells 
if they came in, and the men would suffer dreadfully in get- 
ting to them. Commodore Barron and Colonel Martin were 
both very reluctant to surrender. 

In deference to their wishes it was at first resolved to try 
to effect a retreat, and to spike the guns. Lieutenant John- 
ston was ordered to make a signal from the top of the bomb- 

50 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

proof to the vessels and steamers in the sound to come in. 
He performed this duty, and reported that the signal had 
been answered by Captain Mnse. Lieutenant Johnston was 
then ordered witli such means as were at his command to 
S]iike the gnus. He went to ;i gun <in the east side of the 
fort tn\v;ii(U the Wood, ;ind began liis work, ninl was ordered 
to desist. 

-Fust at this stage of affairs it was I'ciiorled that the mag- 
azine was on tire. Tlie men came pouring out of the bomb- 
])roof ])anic stricken. It is said that they ran over the 
wounded in getting out. I saw just here Wm. H. Harvey, 
one of my men, ])icked u]) dead as 1 tbonght. It turned out 
otlierwise, as his hi]) was only dislocated. It was in this 
stage of affairs tliat the council i-esolved that it wouhl be the 
best to surrender. All were nnanimous in this final, but 
reluctant conclusion. Accordingly a white Hag was ordered 
to be raised upon the ])ara])et. Lieutenant Johnston, I 
think it was, got a piece of while canvas or sheet — a sort of 
feti'camer. and waved it on the ]iarai)ei fronting the ocean. 
No notiee of it was taken by the encMiiy. Some one then 
got a large Confederate flag, tore all but the white bar from 
it, attached this to a pole and jdanted it on the l)omb-proof. 
Two shots only from the enemy were tire(l after this. Both 
fell, 1 think, into the fort. The firing then ceased. 

The bomb-proof was not on fire, but a shell had penetrated 
through one of the ventilators and exploded, falling among 
the men below. The smoke caused them to think it was on 
fire. It fell between two of my men. X(uie were injured. 

A feeling of sadness ]n'evailed on e\'ery countenance after 
the firing had ceased. Lieutenant Carraway, Ordnance Of- 
ficer, of Martin County, raved like a nuul man. He swore 
he wanted to die right there and never surrender. Two 
of my men, Schenck and Hall, both Northerners, wept like 
children. Many would have run for the shore to escape, but 
T forbade them. E. B. Shaw and W. J. Pedrich did so. 

As soon as the firing ceased the land forces at Fort Clark, 
under Colonel ^lax. Weber and Hawkins, both Germans, 
came over the beach with the ''Star Spangled Banner" to- 
wards Fort Hatteras. They ])lanted their two flags in the 

The Fall of Hattekas. 51 

sand and formed alxnir them at the distance from the fort of 
several hundred yards. 

General Bnth'r, in the steamer Faimy. carrying two rifle 
o-nns, ran into the inlet and fired a gun at the WinsJmv. 
Til is ir((s an oiifra(/e. as it was tahing undue advantage of a 
flag of Truce. Had the negotiation failed he never would 
have got out again. 

During the morning the Colonel Hill had come down from 
Portsmouth l)efore the firing began, but not in time, I sup- 
pose, to land more of my men, who were no doubt on board. 
After the surrender she with the Winslow and all the other 
steamers and vessels made the best of their way up the sound. 
They were spectators of the whole bombardment, and a very 
grand s])ecta(de it must have been to them. 

Colonel ]\Iartin and Major Andrews went out to the near- 
est flag of the enemy to bear Commodore Barron's terms to 
them. It Avas a \*)u<x time before an answer was received, as 
they had to send to the tlag-ship to General Butler and Com- 
modore Stringham. 

In the meantime the enemy sauntered about the lieach in 
some order, and our oflicers and men strolled about the fort 
looking at the damage done in various quarters. A cut of 
this in one of the pictorial papers of Xew York is tolerably 

During this interval the (Jhaplain from Fortress Monroe, 
C. W. Denison l)y name, was going about the fort, notebook 
in hand, examining everything, asking questions of oflicers 
and men, picking up and begging relics, and talking very 
patriotically. There was a wounded man in one of the tents, 
thought to be dying (as lie was), and for him this Chaplain 
offered up a prayer, a crowd around him. He told me he 
was a special corresytondent of the New York Tribune. The 
articles in that paper are no doubt from his pen. Like every 
man connected with the press North, he deals in falsehoods, 
knowing them to be such. 

Finally Colonel Max. Weber, a tall, sharp-featured Dutch- 
man, that could hardly speak English, came into the fort, 
went into the oflficers' tent and carried General B. F. Butler's 
answer. It was a refusal to grant our terms. 

52 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

Commodore Barron called a council of officers and siibmit- 
ted the matter. He drew a final proposal and submitted it. 
We discussed it. There was no alternative but to surrender 
unconditionally, except that we were to be treated as prison- 
ers of war. The terms were to be arranged on the flag-ship. 

Commodore Barron, Colonel Martin and Major Andrews 
were taken by one of the smaller steamers off to the Minnesota 
to arrange the particulars. They then surrendered their 
swords to Commodore Stringham and did not return to the 


This worthy, with his blue coat and brass buttons, his lop- 
eyelids, and swaggering, fussy, waddling mien, came to re- 
ceive the surrender of the fort and to embark the prisoners. 

The Adelaide and another large passenger boat came into 
the inlet for this purpose, besides several of the tug boats. 

I -was introduced to General Butler at the door of the of- 
fiers' tent. Forgetting myself, and indulging in my usual 
politeness, I said, when shaking his hand, "I am glad to see 
you, sir." He replied in a familiar manner, *'That is not 
true; you are not glad to see me." "Oh! no," said I, slap- 
ping him on the shoulder, "I forgot myself. I am not glad 
to see you. 1 beg your pardon." 

Major Andrews (who had returned) ordered all the Cap- 
tains to form their companies for the General's inspection, 
and to stack arms. We formed on the parapet facing the 
inlet near the sally-port. Formed in two ranks and stacked 
arms. Companies formed in different parts of the forts. 
The enemy landed near a thousand of their forces and formed 
from the sound side up to the sally-port, on one side of the 

The General (Butler) inspected my men, as also the rest. 
I offered him my sword. He refused to receive it, and told 
me to hang it on the muskets, which I did. The other officers 
did the same. 

Some one asked him if he were not going to march his 
men in before we marched out. His reply was, "No, I will 
never take possession until the men who have made so gallant 

The Fall of Hatteras. 53 

a defence have marched out." The only honorable senti- 
ment I have ever heard attributed to him. I heard the re- 

My company was about the second that left the fort. We 
also formed in two ranks in the causeway from the sally-port 
to the sound. The gun-boat Fanny was at the landing to re- 
ceive us and take us to the Adelaide, anchored in the road- 
stead. General Butler superintended the embarkation him- 
self — stood at the landing — passing and giving orders, boat- 
swain's mate or boss Avorkman totally destitute of all dignity 
or propriety. 

It was an hour before we were all on board. While stand- 
ing in line I gave C. K. Gallagher my torn coat to carry 
home, and v/rote a hasty note to my wife. He had been re- 
leased by General Butler and they promised to set him across 
the inlet. This they never did, but took him as prisoner to 
Fortress Monroe. 

As we embarked on the Farmy the German mercenaries 
marched in. They raised the Stars and Stripes in several 
places on the bomb-proof, and formed on the parapet from 
sally-port to sally-port, one dense mass. Cheer after cheer 
rent the air, and they fired a salute of thirteen guns, some of 
them as they had been shotted by ourselves. I saw the grape 
scatter across the water from one on that face of the fort. 

The Adelaide is one of the oSTorfolk and Baltimore bay 
steamers, a fine boat and the one on which I traveled with 
my family on the way to Illinois. She was anchored about 
half a mile from the shore. The forces were taken on the 
gun-boat Fanny and taken off to her, I went in the first boat. 
The men were confined to the lower deck, and the officers and 
wounded were assigned to the upper or berth saloon. 

Ofileers and men had been without food since early morn- 
ing, and were very hungry, an unfortunate circumstance, as 
no arrangements had been made to feed us on the Adelaide, 
Even water was scarce, and this we were greatly in need of. 
Servants were scarce, there being only one man servant for 
the whole force. After an hoiir or tAvo we had a tolerable 
supper, rather scant, and the men had to be content with a 
little bread. They were glad to get this. 

54 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

General Butler busied himself iu chuckling and talking 
familiarly to the officers in the after saloon. His aim seemed 
to be to make himself free and easy with everybody, aoid to 
a])pear to be very clever. 

The wounded were brcjught to the after part of the upper 
saloon, and arranged iu beds as comfortable as possibly, with 
passage ways between. There were fourteen or fifteen, some 
of them very badly wounded. Only one made much ado, 
most of them lying perfectly quiet. They were heroes. 

The state-rooms were assigned to the officers, l)ut it was a 
late hour before many of them could get to bed. The one 
servant having riKU'e than he could do. When I got hold of 
him there was not a room to be had. The servant, however, 
told mo to follow him. I did so, through various apartments 
of llie ship, an<l finally found myself in the ladies sleeping 
saloon, where the berths and sheets were very nice. An old 
negro ^\•oman was there in her night clothes and seemed very 
much astduished at our advent. She rul)bed her eyes and 
shifted her quarters. Lieutenant Allen, Ordnance Officer, 
was with me. We wei-e soon asleep, and had a good night's 

Thomas Spakrow. 

Hatteras, N. C, 

29 August, 1861. 

Note.— At the date of this action Major Sparrow was Captain Company 
G, Seventeenth Regiment N. C. T.— Ed. 


4 OCTOBER, 1361. 

By E. C. yellow LY, Lieutenant-Colonel Sixty-Eighth Regiment 
North Carolina Troops. 

"Sure enuuiih oli" we went Friday morning last. We got 
<»n Ijoard nur steamers and transjxirts the evening before and 
lay at anchor off the island until i o'clock next morning. 
Our forces consisted of the Second Georgia and our regiment, 
and a small detacliment of the Seventh Xorth Carolina Vol- 
unteers (later Seventeenth IJegiment. Ed.), all under com- 
mand of C'oloncd A. R. Wright, of the Georgia Regiment, as 
senior officer. ■ At daylight, we were in sight of Chicamacom- 
ico, where it was supposed that the enemy was encamped. Our 
steamers, commanded hy (-ommodore Lynch, took position 
about three and a half miles from the shore, as near as he could 
get, and commenced firing towards the woods with his rifled 
cannon to drive the enemy from cover. This fi.ring was kept 
up for an hour, when Colonel Wright, Avith his Georgians on 
some boats, commenced td land. The enemy saw him coming 
and began to run, leaving everything licliind tliem, except 
their arms and accoutrements. We took everything, besides, 
they bad. Their tents, cam]) equipages, haversacks, blan- 
kets. ])r()visions, etc. This ])a])er 1 am writing on was taken 
from them. You must keep it as a relic. 

Our boys found Bibles, likenesses, pajier and a great many 
things of like character. They found great numbers of let- 
ters, which they kept and read. Some were funny, some 
vulgai-, some from sweethearts, fathers, mothers, sisters, 
brotbers and friends. And some written bv the soldiers, 

Note. — At the time Yellowly was Captain Company G, Eighth Regi- 
ment. He was promoted to Major, August, \>*&?> and to Lieutenant- 
Colonel Sixty eighth Regiment October, 1863. He was a leailing lawyer 
in Greenville. N. C, and died some years since. This article is taken 
from a letter he wrote to a relative 8 October, 1861, four days after the 
events he narrates. — Ed. 

56 North Carolina Troops, ]861-'65. 

which they did not have time to finish and maiL They all 
breathed hostility to the South. 

Our regiment tried to head off the enemy. We could not 
get nearer to the land where we were sent, than two miles. 
We got out of our boats and tried to get ashore, but after 
wading about a mile, the water got too deep, and we had to 
go back. Our boys hated to go back. We were close to Hat- 
teras light house, and in sight of the enemy's shipping at 
Fort Hatteras. Night overtook us by the time we re-em- 
barked and we could not try to land any more that day. We 
were about twenty-five miles distant from the Yankees' camp 
at Chicamacomico. The Yankees had named it Live Oak 
Camp. They were the Twentieth liegiment of Indiana 
troops, commanded by Colonel Brown. We heard next day 
that they saw our regiment tiying to land, and being broken 
down running from the Georgians., who were pursuing them, 
they prepared to surrender to us, 15y stopping and shooting 
off their guns. The people on the island told this. They 
got rested before the Georgians came up with theui and went 
on and were reinforced from Fort Hatteras next day. Had 
we landed, we would have taken them all prisoners and blown 
up Hatteras light house. Bad generalship on the part of 
Colonel Wright prevented it. He had made boats, but would 
not let us have them to land in. He kept them to make good 
his retreat. Next day the Pawnee steamship came up from 
Hatteras and commenced firing at the Georgians. We could 
see it all from our boats out in Pamlico Sound. She fired 
about 200 guns at them, but never killed a man. The bombs 
would sometimes fall among them, but did not burst. Colo- 
nel Wright got back at night and all his men got off safely 
except one, who died from fatignie. It was a warm day. 
We got back here on Sunday night last, hungry, dirty and 
greatly fatigued. We had the enemy completely in our 
powei", but owing to his bad management and want of mili- 
tary skill, we failed to catch them." 

E. C. Yellowly. 
Roanoke Island, 
8 October, 1S61. 



astor, lenox and 
tilDEn foundations. 



8 FEBRUARY, 1562. 

Report of Investigating Committee Confederate Congress. 

The committee to whom was referred a resolution of the 
House of Eepresentatives, instructing them to inquire and re- 
port the cases and circumstances of the capitulation of 
Roanoke Island, have had the same under consideration and 
have ffiven all the facts and circumstances connected with 
the defences of said Island and its adjacent waters, and of the 
capitulation on 8 February, a most elaborate investigation. 
The conunittee find that on 21 August, 1861, Brigadier-Gen- 
eral Gatlin was ordered to the command of the Department 
of Xorth Carolina and the coast defences of that State. On 
29 September Brigadier-General D. H. Hill Avas assigned to 
duty in Xorth Carolina and charged with the defences of 
that portion of said State lying between Albemarle Sound 
and the iSTeuse river and Pamlico Sound, including those 
waters, and was directed to report to Brigadier-General Gat- 
lin. On 16 November Brigadier-General L. O'B. Branch 
was directed to relieve Brigadier-General Hill in command of 
his district in Xorth Carolina. On 21 December that part 
of the North Carolina coast east of the Chowan river, to- 
gether with the counties of Washington and Tyrrell, was, at 
the request of the proper authorities of Xorth Carolina, sepa- 
rated from the remainder and constituted into a military dis- 
trict under Brigadier-General II. A. Wise, and attached to 
the command of Major-General Huger, commanding the De- 
partment of Xorfolk. 

At the time therefore of the surrender of Roanoke Island 
on 8 February, 18(>2, it was within the military district of 

Note.— This is the report made by the Roanoke Island Investigating 
Committee by its Chairman, Hon. Burgess S. Gaither, to the House of 
Representatives in the Confederate Congress. — Ed. 

58 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

Brigadier-General Wise and attached to the command of 
Major-General linger. 

The military defences of Roanoke Island and its adjacent 
waters on the said 8 Febrnary, 1862, consisted of Fort Bar- 
tow, the most southern of the defences on the west side of the 
island, a sand fort well covered with turf, having six long 32- 
ponnd guns in embrasure and three 32-pounders en barbette. 

The next is fort Blanchard, on the same side of the island, 
about U\'<) and a half miles from Fort Bartow, a semi-circular 
sand fort, turfed, and mounting four 32-pounders en barbette. 

Next on the same side and about 1,200 yards from Fort 
Blanchard, is Fort Huger. This is a turfed sand fort, run- 
ning along the line of the l>each and closed in the rear by a 
low breastwork with a banquette for infantry. It contained 
eiglit 21-ponnd gnins in embrasure, two rifled 32-pounders en 
l:)arbette and two 32-pounders en barbette on the right. 

About three miles beloAv Fort Bartow on the east side of 
the island was a battery of 32-pound guns en barbette, at a 
]ioint known as ^Midgett's llannnock. In the center of the 
island about two miles from Fort Bartow and a mile from 
IMidgett's Hammock, was a redoubt or breastwork thrown 
across the road, about 70 or SO feet long, with embrasures 
for Three guns, on the right of which was a swamp, on the- 
left a marsh, the redoubt reaching nearly between them and 
facing to the south. On the Tyrrell side on the main land 
nearly o]){)osite to Fort linger, was fort Forrest, mounting 
seven 32-pounders. 

In addition to these defences on the shore and on the 
island, rherc was a l)arrier of ]>iles extending from the east 
side of Fulker Shoals towards the island. Its object w^as to 
com]3el vessels ])assing on the west of the island to approach 
within reach of the shore batteries, but up to 8 February there 
was a span of 1,700 yards open opposite Fort Bartow. Some 
vessels had been sunk and piles driven on the west side of 
Fulker Shoals to obstruct the canal between that shoal and 
the main land, which comprised all the defences, either upon 
the land or in the waters adjacent. 

The entire military force stationed upon the island prior 
to and at the time of the late engagement consisted of the 

LoBB OF Roanoke Island. 59 

Eighth Regiment North Carolina State Troops under the 
command of Colonel H. M. Shaw ; the Thirty-first Regiment 
of North Carolina Volunteers, under the command of Colonel 
J. V. Jordan ; and three companies of the Seventeenth Regi- 
ment North Carolina Troops under the command of Major 
G. H. Gill. After manning the several forts, on 7 February, 
there were but 1,024 men left and '200 of them were upon the 
sick list. On the morning of 7 February, Brigadier-General 
Wise sent from Nag's Head, under command of Lieutenant- 
Colonel Henderson, a reinforcement numl)ering some 450 
men — this does not include the commands of J^ieutenant-Col- 
onel Green and Major Fry, both of whom reached the scene 
of action after the battle was closed. The committee do not 
think there was any intentional delay in the landing of the 
commands of Colonel Green and Major Fry. The former. 
Colonel Green, exhibited great anxiety to get into the fight, 
when he did land, and acted with great gallantry in the skir- 
mish be (lid bavc witli tbe enemy in the vicinity of the camps. 
The whole was under the command of Brigadier-General Wise 
who, upon 7 and 8 February was at Nag's Head, four miles 
distant from the island, confined to a sick bed and entirely 
disabled from ])articipating in the action in person. The im- 
mediate command, therefore, devolved upon Colonel H. M. 
Shaw, the senior officer present. 

On February it Avas discovered that the enemy's fleet was 
in Pamlico Sound, sonth of Roanoke Island, and apparently 
intending to attack the forces upon the island. Colonel Shaw 
immediately communicated the fact to Brigadier-General 
Wise, and issued orders for the disposition of his troops pre- 
paratory to an engagement. The points at which it was 
supposed the enemy would attempt to land troo])s were Ash- 
by's and Pugh's Landings. Ashby's is situated on the west 
side of the island about two miles south of Fort Bartow, and 
Pugh's on the same side about two miles south of Ashby's. 
On the night of the 6th, or early on the morning of the 7th, 
a detachment of one piece of artillery was sent to Pugh's 
Landing and one with two pieces of artillery, was sent to 
Ashby's, and the remainder of the forces was stationed in 
the immediate vicinitv of Ashbv's. On the morninc; of the 

60 North Carolina Tkoops, 1861-65. 

7tli, the enemy's fleet passed by both of the landings and pro- 
ceeded towards Fort Bartow, and the detachment of infantry 
stationed at Piigh's immediately fell back to the vicinity of 
Ashby's Landing and joined the detachments there, all un- 
der the command of Colonel J. V. Jordan. 

In the sound between Roanoke Island and the main land, 
upon the Tyrrell side, Commodore Lynch with his squad- 
ron of seven vessels had taken position, and at 11 o'clock the 
enemy's fleet consisting of about thirty-nine gun-boats and 
schooners, advanced in ten divisions, the rear one having the 
schooners and transports in tow. The advance and attacking 
division again subdivided, one assailing the squadron and 
the other firing upon the fort, with 9-inch, 10-inch and 11- 
incli shell, spherical case, a few round shot and every variety 
of rifled projectiles. The fort replied with but four guns, 
v-liich were all that could be brought to bear, and after s+ril<:- 
ing the foremost vessels several times, the fleet fell back so 
Ps to mask one of the guns of the fort, leaving but three to 
reply to the fire of the whole fleet. The bombardment was 
continued throughout the day and the enemy retired at dark. 
The squadron under command of Commodore Lynch, sus- 
tained their jiosition most gallantly, retired only after ex- 
hausting all their ammunition, and having lost the steamer 
Curlew and the Forrest disabled. Fort Bartow sustained 
considerable damage from the fire of the day, but the injuries 
were jiartially re]>aired by the next morning, and the fort put 
in a state of defence. About 3 :80 o'clock on the evening of 
the 7th, the enemy sent off from their transports about twenty- 
five men in a launch, apparently to take soundings, who were 
fired u])on and retreated. Whereupon, two large steamers 
having in tow, each thirty boats filled with troops, approached 
the island under the protection of their gun-boats, at a point 
north of Ashby's Landing, know^n as Haymon's, and did ef- 
fect a landing. The point selected was out of the reach of 
the field pieces at Ashby's, and defended l)y a swamp from 
the advance of our infantry, and protected by the shot and 
shell thrown from their gun-boats. Our whole force there- 
upon withdrew from Ashby's and took position at the re- 
doubt or breastwork, and placed in battery the three field 

Loss OF Roanoke Island. 61 

pieces with the necessary artillerymen, under the respective 
commands of Captain Schermerhorn, Lieutenants Kinney 
and Selden. Tavo companies of the Eighth and two of the 
Thirty-first were placed at the redoubt to support the artil- 
lery ; three companies of the Wise Legion deployed to the 
right and to the left as skirmishers — the remainder of the 
infantry in position 300 yards in the rear of the redoubt as a 

The enemy landed some 15,000 men with artillery, and at 
7 o'clock a. m. of the 8th, opened fire upon the redoubt, which 
was replied to immediately with great spirit and the action 
soon became general and was continued without interrup- 
tion for more than five hours, when the enemy succeeded in 
deploying a large force on either side of our line, flanking 
each wing. The order was then given by Colonel Shaw to 
spike the guns in the battery and to retreat to the northern 
end of the island. The guns were spiked and the whole force 
fell back to the camps. 

During the engagement at the redoubt, the enemy's fleet 
attempted to advance up Croatan Sound, which brought on 
a desultory engagement between Fort Bartow and the fleet, 
which continued up to 12 :30 o'clock, when the coimnanding 
ofiicer was informed that the land defences had been forced 
and the position of the fort turned. He thereupon ordered 
the guns to be disabled and the ammunition destroyed, which 
was done, and the fort abandoned. The same thing was done 
at Forts Blanch ard and Huger, and the forces from all the 
forts were marched in good order to the camps. The enemy 
took possession of the redoubts and forts immediately, and 
proceeded in pursuit, with great caution, towards the north- 
ern end of the island, in force, deploying so as to surround 
our forces at the camps. Colonel Shaw arrived with his 
whole force at his camps in time to have saved his whole 
command, if transports had have been furnished, but none 
were there, and finding himself surrounded by a greatly supe- 
rior force upon the open island, with no field works to protect 
him, and having lost his only three field pieces at the redoubt, 
had either to make an idle display of courage in fighting the 
foe at such immense disadvantage, to the sacrifice of his com- 

<62 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

jnand, oi- to capitulate and surrender as prisoners of war. 
He wisely determined upon the latter alternative. 

The loss on our side in killed and wounded and missing, is 
.as follows: Killed, 23; wounded, .58; missing, 62. The 
loss of the Ft)rty-ninth and Fifty-ninth Virginia Volunteers 
is: Killed, 6; wounded, 28; missing, 11); that of the Eighth 
and Tliirty-tirst North Carolina and Second Xorth Caro- 
lina Battalion, is Ki kiHed, 30 wounded, 43 missing. Of 
the engineer department, Lieutenant Selden killed, who had 
patriotically volunteered his services in the line and was as- 
signed to the connnand of the (J-pounder which he handled 
with so much skill as to ]»roduee immense havoc in the en- 
emy's ranks, and to elicit the unbounded admiration of all 
who witnessed it. I'nhappily, however, that gallant officer 
received a rifle ball in the head and he fell without a groan. 

The committee are satisfied that Colonel Shaw held pos- 
session of that ])ost as long as he could have done without use- 
less sacrifice of human life ; that on the 7th and 8th the of- 
ficers and men in Fort Bartow displayed great coolness, cour- 
age and persevering efforts to s\istain their position and drive 
back the enemy's fleet. Tn the battle of 8 February, at the re- 
doubt, the officers and men exhibited a cool and deliberate 
<;ourage, worthy of veterans in the service, and sustained 
their positions under an uninterrupted and deadly fire for 
more than five hours, repulsing the enemy in three separate 
and distinct charges, and only withdrrnv from the deadly con- 
flict after exhausting their ammunition for their artillery, 
and being surrounded and flanked by more than ten times 
their number. Instead of the result being "deeply hmnili- 
ating" it was one of the most brilliant and gallant actions of 
the war ; and in the language of their absent commanding 
general, "both oflicers and men fought firmly, coolly, ef- 
ficiently and as long as humanity would allow." 

Burgess S. Gaither^ 

Richmond, Va., 

May, 1862. 


5 FEBRUARY, 1662, 

By E. R. LILES, Lieutenant-Colonei, Thirty Fikst Regiment, 
North Carolina Troops 

About two weeks before the enemy made his ai)])earaiK'e, 
my eompany (B) ami the Hatteras Avengers (Company F), 
■Captain Charles W. Knight, of ]\lartin County (both of the 
Thirty-first Regiment), were ordered to Ashley's Landing, 
r. distance of eiglit miles from oiir camp, and nearly two 
miles below our lowest battery, Fort Bartow. Two brass 
field pieces. 12 and 18-])ounders, were put in my charge, 
and I was ordered to defend the T^anding and, at crcry haz- 
ivrd, to save the artillery. An officer from the Eighth Ueginient 
Avas detailed to drill scpiads from ('aptain Ivnight's and my 
<^om})any on the cannon, but he only visited us twice, spend- 
ing each time about half an hour. All that our men really 
learned of artillery was taught them in an hour by Colonel 
Jordan and one or two short lessons by Lieutenant Kinney, of 
Wise's Legion, who came to the island about three days be- 
fore the battle. ] had no horses, and the mongrel ''bank 
Ironies" which Colonel Shaw ordered me to press into service 
were untractable and of little use. We felt that our posi- 
tion was an important and responsible one. This landing, 
wliere vessels drawing eight feet could land at any time, had 
been neglected to the last moment, and the ninety men, badly 
prepared as above shown, were placed to defend it as long as 
possible, with strict orders to carry away the artillery in 
case of a retreat being unavoidable. On Thursday morning, 
^) February, at a very early hour, W. Riley Diggs, of Compa- 
ny B, being on the lookout, discovered two of the enemy's ves- 
sels coming up the Sound, some ten or twelve miles away. 
By aid of a glass, I soon made out four large steamers, and 
immediately dispatched a message to convey the news to 
<;amp. One by one the vessels, of all sorts and sizes, rounded 

64 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

the point and come in view until the number reached sixty- 
four. They were drawn across the sound in a long line. 
One of our little gun-boats went down to take observations, 
but did not, of course, venture within shot. There they lay, 
forming a picture rare and beautiful, though probably not so 
fully appreciated by us as it might have been under different 
circumstances. At 8 o'clock on Friday morning, they began 
to move, and coming cautiously along, by 10 :30 o'clock were 
nearly abreast of us, when the "ball opened." The men un- 
der my command were ordered to keep concealed, so as not to 
draw the enemy's fire, but it seemed impossible for them to 
do so. Loolc ivc must, and in looking, the wuld grandeur 
and sublime novelty of the scene drew us unconsciously from 
our hiding places. The Yankee vessels lay from one to two 
and a half miles from us, and a few shells would have played 
havoc with us. But we received no attention, and we had 
nothing to do for several hours, but eagerly watch the con- 
flict. Fort Bartow replied most nobly to the thunders 
directed against her, and our little fleet did good service. 
From my position I could see the effect of nearly every shot. 
I saw many strike the vessels, and often found myself hur- 
rahing for the gallant Hill and the men at the fort. 

About 3 o'clock, p. m., Avhen three or four vessels had been 
disabled and hauled off", a small boat, containing some twelve 
or fifteen men, left one of the steamers and made for the 
shore at a point nearly half a mile above us, evidently with 
a vicAv of trying the soundings and the landing, which had 
been represented to us as utterly insufficient for any but very 
small boats. Colonel Jordan, who had arrived at our post 
some time before, ordered Lieutenant Lindsay and myself to 
take twenty men each, and proceed through an intervening 
swamp, and capture or kill the boat's crew. This marsh was 
almost impassable, but we got through at last, and were 
advancing cautiously, in sight of the Yankees, who had just 
landed, when two men, one attached to the Thirty-first Reg- 
iment, and the other unknown to me, rtished forward, hal- 
looing loudly, firing their guns at the enemy, and, of course, 
giving them the alarm. Lieutenant L's detachment and my 
own (all from Company B),were now together and within 100 

The Fall of Roanoke Island. 65 

yards or less of the enemy, and but for this piece of impru- 
dence, we Avould have easily captured them. As they turned 
to flee, we rushed through mud and water, firing as we went, 
but all were got into the boat, and the living pushed off, and 
were soon out of range. We killed four and wounded two. 
We immediately fell back under cover, expecting a shelling, 
which, hoAvever, still did not come. On the arrival of the 
small boat at the flag-ship, two very large steamers having 
some thirty small boats in tow, all packed with men, started 
for the landing above us. Knowing they must cut us off 
from the rest of our forces, it being impossible to get the ar- 
tillery through the marsh, and considering it folly for his- 
small force to attack the thousands of the enemy with uuis- 
ketry, Colonel Jordan ordered a retreat. Our heaviest gun 
was hauled off by two ponies and two old mules, the other we 
carried off by hand under a storm of shot and shell from ves- 
sels in the sound, none of which, however, did any damag;e. 

We retreated about one mile and a half to the small bat- 
tery, or redoubt, across the road, and placed one cannon, to- 
gether with a brass 6-pounder, in battery. It was near 
night, raining slowly, the men were weary and hungry. We 
bivouacked then for the night, having some refreshments sent 
us from camp. 

Early on the morning of the 8th, the advance guard of the 
enemy made its appearance, the Richmond Blues and McCul- 
longh Rangers were thrown out on either flank as skirmishers, 
and firing commenced. Several regiments of the enemy 
were now drawn up at three or four hundred yards distance 
upon which our artillery opened, and as they came nearer, our 
small arms. There were in the battery my company, num- 
bering forty-three ; Captain Knight's, about fifty (including 
detachments from each for the artillery) ; a detachment from 
the Eighth of say ten in charge of the 6-pounder, and about 
forty Rangers from Wise's Legion, Colonel ShaAv in com- 
mand, and Colonels Anderson, Jordan and Price being also 
present. Gallantly, nobly and gloriously did every man 

fight (except , who ran like a whipped dog). As 

far as the eye could reach the enemy stood in compact mass, 
and we mowed them down by hundreds. Often did they at- 

66 North Carolina Troops, J 861-65. 

tempt to advance, but as often was death spread in their 
ranks, and they were repulsed. Like a hail shower their 
niinie balls fell around us while shell and shot hurtled over 
lis going wide from their mark, and placing our reserve force, 
portions of the Thirty-iirst and Eighth, half a mile in our 
rear, in more danger than ourselves. Xot a cheek blanched 
among us with fear, and as I watched most ])articularly my 
own gallant boys, not a trembling hand or faltering eye could 
I see. 

Nor was it different with the "Hatteras Avengers," (Com- 
pany F), who fought with the spirit and determination of 
l>rave men, under a brave leader, and a braver man than Cap- 
tain Knight no men ever fought under. His voice was heard 
at all times cheering his men, and his example, with that of 
his First Lieutenant, S. J . T^atham, inspired all with courage. 
After about two hours, our skirmishers being hard pressed by 
overwdielming numbers, were gradually falling back fighting 
most gallantly, when the lamented Wise fell. His men bore 
him off and I saw them no more. The enemy pushed regi- 
ment after regiment into the swamp on either side to flank us, 
Tout tliey were for a long time driven back. For over three 
liours the numbers above mentioned kept at bay at least 10,000 
of the enemy ^ as acknowledged by themselves), and when at 
last ^\'e were flanked, as a Major of one of the regiments who 
did it, told me, they crossed that miry swamp on a bridge of 
dead men.'^ Only three men of ours were killed at the redoubt, 
one of them the brave Seldon, who fell near me, shot through 
the head. He, Captain Schermerhorn and Lieutenant Kin- 
ney (all of Wise's Legion), had command of our three guns. 
Captain f^chermerhorn, who has been fighting ever since he 
was old enough, and has five balls now in his body, had 
charge of Company B detachment and complimeiited them 
very highly, ].)articu]arly James Flowers, who, he said, 
though much exposed, fought with the firm courage and un- 
flinchiiig coolness of a veteran. A compliment from such a 
man is worth something. But all did well, and their country 

* General Burnside's Official Report shows his loss was 5 officers 
and 32 men killed ; 10 officers and 204 men wounded. 13 missing, total 
264.— Ed. 

The Fall of Roanoke Island. 67 

ought to be proud of them. Probably had others been in 
their places, the same might be said justly, but this is certain, 
the "O. K. Boys,'- of Anson County, and the "Hatteras 
Avengers," of Martin County, fought four hours and twenty 
minutes, and only retreated Avhen the whole Yankee force 
was close upon them, and the field officers had left our bat- 
tery. In ten minutes more the enemy would have sur- 
rounded us and cut us to pieces. Just before the retreat, re- 
inforcements arrived, swelling our numbers to probably four 
hundred men, who did but little good. The retreat was con- 
ducted in good order, no guns were thrown away, as has been 
gtated. and our whole force, except a few stragglers, pro- 
ceeded slowly up the road expecting every minute to hear the 
order to "Fall in" for another fight, than which no order 
could have been more welcome. But this came not, and they 
went sullenly and silently to our old encampment, where 
about an hour after our arrival, we saw the white flag borne 
by us to meet the enemy. The surrender of all the forces on 
the island was made and a strong Federal guard placed 
around us. The victorious army treated us with kindness, 
particularly General Foster and the officers of the Eighth 
and Fifty-first New York, the Pennsylvania, New Jersey 
and Twenty-first Massachusetts Regiments. We were de- 
prived of all small arms, upon a promise of having them re- 
turned whenever we were exchanged, which promise was only 
partially complied with on our release. We had the morti- 
fication of seeing many of the articles prepared for the use of 
our sick and wounded by the kind w^omen of Anson, seized 
by the rascally Zouaves, but as soon as complaint was made 
to General Reno, he promptly ordered any man trespassing 
thus to be placed in irons. 

OwY beautiful flag was gallantly borne away from the bat- 
tlefield by Corporal H. M. May, but to our great regret was 
taken by the enemy after the surrender, and by Dr. Cutler, 
Surgeon of the Twenty-first Massachusetts Regiment, was 
sent as a present to the Governor of that State, a brother-in- 
law of my informant. It was never disgraced, and bore 
many marks in the shape of bullet holes. We remained on 
the Island much crowded and closely guarded, until the 

68 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

Wednesday morning following, when we were removed (the 
officers only), to the steamer Syauldiyig in the sound, fiilly 
expecting to start immediately for New York. We were 
allowed to take our baggage and servants. The ten days 
following were the most miserable I ever passed. Confined 
to the damp, dark and dirty lower deck greatly crowded, fed 
on hard crackers, fat pork (which they said was cooked before 
leaving the North, but which seemed to us raw), and coffee 
tAvice a day, you may imagine our condition. On Sunday, 
the l(!th, General Burnside came aboard and announced that 
we could all be released on a parole of honor, of which the 
following is a copy : 

"Having been taken a prisoner of war by the forces of Gen- 
eral A. E. Burnside, on Roanoke Island, I do solemnly pledge 
my sacred word and honor, that if released, I will give no one 
any information I may have derived, or mention anything I 
may have heard or seen since my capture, that might injure 
the Government of the United States of Ameriea, or aid their 
enemies by word or act until I am regularly exchanged ac- 
cording to the usages of war; the information to me, of said 
exchange to be beyond the possibility of a doubt." 

This was about the first intiination we had of anything of 
the kind and upon the assurance that the same privilege 
should be offered to our men, we gladly accepted the proposi- 
tion. But it was not until the next Thursday that they 
moved with us, then steamers, bearing all the prisoners 
taken, started for Elizabeth City where, on Friday, we landed, 
and after a tedious process of verifying rolls, we Avere re- 
leased. The meeting here between officers and men w^as in 
some instances very affecting. You may be sure that we 
gladl}^ took up our line of march homeward, and bore the 
many hardships and privations of the journey with more 
cheerfulness than under other circumstances. At Ports- 
mouth we were furnished with a good meal. At Weldon, 
Colonel O. H. Dockery most kindly prepared for and enter- 
tained my company, on Tuesday morning, from which time 
until our arrival at Florence — thirty-six hours — we had noth- 
ing to eat. At the latter place a bountiful repast was spread 
for us, Mr. Gamble, the proprietor of the hotel, only 

The Fall of Roanoke Island. 69 

charging us half price — to his credit be it spoken. We are 
all now safely at homewwith one exception, and impatient to 
hear of our exchange. Joseph E. Liles has not been seen or 
directly heard from since the fight, though we have the 
strongest reasons for believing that he was alive on the island, 
though sick when we left. He was quite unwell with the 
mumps on the day of the battle, though he fought most 
bravely, and was with us when Ave started to retreat. He 
was doubtless taken prisoner, and I fully hope and believe, 
for various reasons, that he will soon be returned to his home 
and friends. May this be so — for a nobler boy, or one more 
beloved, never pulled trigger on an enemy. I had several 
men wounded, though none seriously. Our whole loss, 
killed and wounded, is about forty — that of the enemy but 
little, if any, under two thousand killed, and I know not how 
many were wounded. This information was gained in vari- 
ous ways, as it was most studiously kept secret by most of 
the officers, but is reliable. Captain Knight's men and the 
others in the battery, fired thirty to forty rounds of buck and 
ball cartridges, and for a large portion of the time, the en- 
emy was just where we wanted them to make our shots tell, 
and every discharge of our artillery opened a perfect lane 
through the enemy's ranks. Wlien we saw them advancing 
the last time upon us, the order to "Fix bayonets" was given, 
and I never saw it obeyed more cheerfully on drill — though 
every man expected a hand-to-hand conflict. All those pretty 
stories about crying and breaking swords, are gammon. I 
could not make this communication shorter and do the l^orth 
Carolina companies engaged justice. 

E. R. Liles. 


1 March, 1862. 

NoTK. — At the time of this battle E R. Liles was Captain Company B, 
and later Lieutenant-Colonel of the Regiment. His estimate of the ene- 
my's loss is very far above the mark (see Burnside's report above) as 
perhaps was natural at the time. — Ed. 


17 SEFTEHBER, 1862. 

By WALTER CLARK, Lieutenant-Colonel Seventieth N. C. T, 

After the "seven days fight" aroimd Richmond in July, 
1862, when McCUellan took refuge from utter destruction in 
his gun-boats it was resolved that we should return the unso- 
licited visit w^hich had been made us. 

A few weeks later, with blare of bugles and roll of drums, 
we set our faces northward. At Cedar Mountain we crushed 
the enemy, Chantilly saw our victorious columns and the field 
of Manassas a second time welcomed us to victory. When 

" August with its trailing vines 
Passed out the gates of Summer," 

we were in full march for the Potomac, which was crossed 
simultaneously at several points, the bands playing ''Mary- 
land, My Maryland." Walker's Division, to which I be- 
longed, with McLaws' and A. P. Hills' Divisions, recrossed 
the Potomac to surround Harper's Ferry, while the rest of 
the army, moving towards Hagerstown, was suddenly attacked 
at Boonsboro 14 September, and falling back the hostile lines 
again confronted each other about noon on 16 September, the 
Federals lining Antietam creek while the Confederates held 
the village of Sharpsburg, hence the double name of this fa- 
mous battle. For a similar reason the great battle known 
to the English-speaking people the world around as Waterloo, 
is called the battle of Mont St. Jean by the French and La 
Belle Alliance by Germans. 

The l)attle of Antietam (commonly known at the South 
as the battle of Sharpsburg), was one of the bloodiest of the 
whole Civil War. It was fought 17 September, 1862, be- 
tween the Federal army commanded by General George B. 
McClellan, and the Confederate army under General R. E. 

72 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

The Federal army was composed of six Corps : First 
(Hooker's), Second (Sumner's), Fifth (Porter's), Sixth 
(Franklin's), A'^inth (Burnside's), Twelfth (Mansfield's), 
besides Pleasanton's Cavalry Division. 

On the Southern side were two Corps: Longstreet's and 
Jackson's, with Stuart's Cavalry. The morning reports for 
that day of the Federal army show 101,000 "effective;" but 
General McClellan, in his report of the battle, places his 
number of men in line at 87,000. General Lee, in his re- 
port simply ])uts his force at "less than 40,000." General 
Longstreet estimates them at 37,000, and General D. H. Hill 
at 31,000. The best estimate of numbers actually in line 
.vould be 87,000 Federals and 35,000 Confederates. Of the 
latter, only 27,000 were in hand when the battle opened. 
The arrival of the divisions of McLaws and A. P. Hill from 
Harper's Ferry during the battle, raised Lee's total to 35,000. 
Over a fourth of these were from North Carolina, which had 
thirty-two regiments and three batteries there. 

The battle was fought in a bend of the Potomac river, the 
town of Sharpsbuvg, Md., being the center of the Southern 
line of battle, wlinse right flank rested on the Antietam creek, 
just al:)Ove where it flows into the Potomac, and the left flank 
on the Potomac higher u}). General Lee had braved all 
rules of sti'ategy by dividing his army in the presence of an 
enemy treble his numbers. He had sent Jackson, with 
nearly half the army, to the south side of the Potomac to in- 
vest Llarper's Ferry, while with the other ]iart of the army 
he himself advanced on Hagerstown. General McClellan, 
who slowly and with caution was following Lee's movements, 
found at Frederick, ]\ld., a dispatch from Lee to General D. 
H. Hill, which had been dropped in the latter's encampment. 
This disclosed to him Lee's entire plan of campaign and the 
division of his army. With more than his usual promptness, 
McClellan threw himself (on 14 September), upon Turner's 
(Boonsl)oro) and (^ram])ton's Gaps. These were stubbornly 
lield till next day, when Lee fell back to Sharpsburg. For- 
tunately for Lee, Harper's Ferry surrendered with 12,000 
prisoners early on the morning of the 15th, releasing the be- 
sieti'ina,' force. Of these. Walker's Division, with Jackson 

Sharpsburg (or Antietam), 


himself, rejoined Lee north of the Potomac, at Sharpsburg, 
on the afternoon of the 16th. Me Laws and A. P. Hill joined 
him there during the battle on the 17th — McLaws at 9 a. m., 
and A. P. Hill at 3 p. m. — and each just in time to prevent 


the destruction of the army. With 87,000 men in line, as 
against Lee's 3."), 000, General McClellan should have cap- 
tured the (.'onfederate army, for lighting with the river at its 
back any <lisasrer could not have been retrieved. Besides, 
till !• a. m., Lee bad only 27,000 men. and this number was 
not finally raised to lb"), 000 till the arrival of A. P. Hill after 
3 p. in. Lbere were no breastworks and neither time nor op- 
portunity to make any. General McClellan was an excellent 
General, luit bis over-caution saved Lee's army. He greatly 
overestimated tbc nuud>ors o]iposed to him. He telegraphed 
to President Liiu-ohi (hiring the battle that Lee had 95,000 
men. Had he known that in truth Lee had only 27,000 men 
when the battle opened, the history of the war and General 
McClellan's fortunes would have been essentially different. 

74 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

During- the battle General McClellan telegraphed President 
Lincoln "one of the greatest, and probably the greatest bat- 
tle, in all history is now in progress." 

This much has been said to give a general idea of the "sit- 
uation" before and during the battle. I was Adjutant of 
the Thirty-fifth Xorth Carolina Regiment commanded by 
Colonel M. W. Eansom (afterwards Brigadier-General and 
United States Senator.) The brigade was commanded by 
his brother, General Robert Ransom, a West Pointer, and 
hence a personal acquaintance of most of the Federal lead- 
ers. The division was commanded by General John G. Wal- 
ker, another old army officer. We were at the taking of Har- 
per's Perry, where our division held Loudon Heights, and 
Ave were the first to recross the Potomac and join General 
Lee at Sharpsburg, on the afternoon of the ICth. 

I was then a mere boy, j ust 16a few days before, and have 
vivid recollections of the events of the day. About an hour 
before day, on tlie 17th, our division began its march for the 
position assigned us on the extreme right, where we were to 
oppose the Federals in any attempt to cross either the bridge 
(since known as Burnside's) or the ford over the Antietam 
beloM' it, near Shiveley's. Along our route we met men,, 
women and children coming out from Sharpsburg, and from 
the farm houses near by. "^rhey were carrying such of their 
household belongings as were portable ; many women were 
weeping. This, and the little children leaving their homes, 
made a moving picture in "the dawn's early light." On 
taking ])osition, we immediately tore down the fences in our 
front which might obstruct the line of fire. About 9 a. m., 
a pressing order came to move to the left ; this we did in 
quick time. As we Avere leaving our ground, I remember 
looking np the Antietam, the opposite bank of which was 
lined with Federal batteries. These were firing at the left 
Aving of our army to the support of Avhich we Avere moving. 
The Federal gunners could be seen Avith the utmost distinct- 
ness as they loaded and fired. Moving nortlnvards, Ave Avere 
passing in rear of our line of battle and met constant streams 
of the Avounded coming out. Among them I remember meet- 
ing Colonel W. L. DeRosset, of the Third North Carolina, 

Sharpsburg (or Antietam). 


being brniii>ht out badly wounded, and many others well 
known in North Carolina. 

All this time there was the steady booming of the cannon, 
the whistling of shells, the pattering of fire-arms, and the 
occasional yell or cheer rising above the roar of battle as some 
advantage was gained by either side. Soon after passing the 


town tbe division was de])loyed in column of regiments. 
.Vround and just beyond the Dunkard church, in the center of 
the Confederate left, our line had been broken and was com- 
])letely sv/e^^t away. A flood of Federals were pouring in; 
we were just in time — ten minutes', five minutes' delay, and 
our army would have ceased to exist. We were marching 
up behind our line of battle, with our right flank perpendicu- 

76 North Carolina Troops, 186] -65. 

lar to it. As the first regiment got opposite to the break in 
our lines it made a wheel to the right and "went in." The 
next regiment, marching straight on, as soon as it cleared the 
left of the regiment ])receding it, likewise wheeled to the 
right and took its place in line, and so on in succession. That 
is, we were marching north, and thus w^ere successively 
thrown into line of battle facing east. As these regiments 
came successively into line they struck the Federal lines 
which were advancing ; the crash was deafening. The sound 
of infantry firing at short distance can be likened to nothing 
so much as the dropping of a shower of hail-stones on an enor- 
mous tin roof. My regiment wheeled to the right about 150 
yards north (and west) of the Dunkard church. In the wheel 
we passed a large barn, which is still standing, and entered 
the "West Woods." Being a mounted officer, I had a full 
view ; our men soon drove the Federals back to the eastern 
edge of these woods, where the enemy halted to receive us. 
The West Woods had already l)een twice fought over that 
morning ; the dead and \\'ounded lay thicker than I ever seen 
on a battlefield since. On the eastern edge of these woods 
the lines of battle came close together and the shock was ter- 
rific ; here Captain Walter Bryson, of our regiment, was 
killed, along with many others in the brigade. All the 
mounted officers in the division instantly dismounted, turn- 
ing their horses loose to gallop to the rear. It being the first 
time I had been so suddenly thrown in contact with a line of 
battle, and not noticing, in the smoke and uproar, that the' 
others had dismounted, I thought it my duty to stick to my 
horse ; in another moment, when the smoke would have lifted 
(so the Federal line of l)attle, lying down fifty yards off, 
could have seen me) I should have been taken for a general 
officer and would have been swejit out of my saddle by a hun- 
dred l)ullets. A kind-hearted veteran close by peremptorily 
pulled me oft' my horse. At that instant a minie ball, whist- 
ling over the just emptied saddle, struck the back of my left 
hand which was still clinoing to the pommel, leaving a slight 
scar which I still carry as a memento. The Federal line 
soon fell back. We then charged in pursuit as far as the post 
and rail fence at the turnpike. It was Gorman's Brigade, 

Sharpsburg (or Antietam). 77 

Sedgwick's Division, of Sumner's Corps our brigade was 
fighting. This was composed of troops from Massachusetts, 
New York and Minnesota, and from their returns they left 
750 killed and wounded by our lire ; this was about 10 a. m. 
i\ terrific shelling by the enemy followed, which was kept up 
for many hours, with occasional brief intermissions, caused 
probably by the necessity of letting the pieces cool. The 
shelling was terrible, but owing to protection from the slope 
of the hill, and there being a limestone ledge somewhat shel- 
tering our line, the loss from the artillery was small. 

Tn the brief intermission, after the Federal infantry had 
fallen back and before the artillery opened, a cry for help was 
heard. Lieutenant (later Captain) Sanford G. Howie and 
myself going out in front of our line, found the Lieutenant- 
Colonel of a Massachusetts regiment — Francis Winthrop Pal- 
frey — l^'ing on the ground wounded, and brought him and 
others into our lines. With some reluctance he surrendered 
his very handsome sword and pistol and was sent to the rear. 
The sword bore an inscription that it had been presented to 
him by the town of Concord, Mass. He remarked at the 
time, he wished them preserved, and sure enough, after the 
war he wrote for them, and they were restored ; he was ex- 
changed and became subsequently General Palfrey. He has 
published a volume, "Antietam and Fredericksburg." 

There was another intermission in the shelling about 12 
o'clock, when we were charged by the Second Massachusetts 
and Thirteenth iSIew Jersey of Gordon's Brigade, who ad- 
vanced as far as the post and rail fence at the Hagerstown 
turnpike, about 100 yards in our front, but were broken there 
and driven back, leaving many dead and wounded. There 
was another intermission about 2 o'clock probably. Word 
was then brought us that we were to advance. It was then 
that Stonewall Tackson came along our lines ; his appearance 
has been so often described that I will only say that I was 
reminded of what the Federal prisoners had said two days 
before at Har])er's Ferry, when he rode down among them 
from his post on Bolivar Heights : "My ! boys, he ain't 
much on looks, but if ire had had him, Ave Avouldn't have been 
in this fix." Stonewall remarked to Colonel Ransom, as he 

78 North Carolina Troops. 18f)l-'65. 

■did to the other Colonels along the line, that with Stuart's 
■Cavalry and some infantry he was going around the Federal 
right and get in their rear, and added "when you hear the 
rattle of my small arms this whole line must advance." He 
Avished to ascertain the force ojjposed, and a man of our regi- 
ment named Hood was sent up a tall tree, which he climbed 
-carefully to avoid observation by the enemy; Stonewall called 
out to know how many Yankees he could see over the hill 
^nd beyond the "East Woods," Hood replied, "Who-e-e! 
there are oceans of them. General." "Count their flags," 
rsaid Jackson sternly, who wished more definite information. 
This Hood proceeded to do until he had counted thirty-nine, 
when the General told him that would do and to come down. 
By reason of this and other information he got, the turning 
iriovcment was not attem])ted, and it was probably fortunate 
for us that it was not. 

During the same lull, our Brigadier-General (Robert Ran- 
som) received a flag of truce which had been sent to remove 
some wounded officers, and by it sent his love to General 
Hartsuff (if I remember aright), who had been his room- 
mate at West Point ; but Hartsuff, as it happened, had been 
wounded and had left the field. Soon after our regiment 
Avas moved laterally a short distance to the right, and we 
charged a piece of artillery which had been put in position 
near the Dunkard church ; we killed the men and horses, but 
did not bring off the artillery, as we were ourselves swept by 
artillery on our left posted in the "old corn-field." 

Just to the right of the Dunkard church was the "peach 
orchard" lying between the church and the town of Sharps- 
burg, where General D. H. Hill held our line for hours with 
a line of men four feet apart. A half mile in front of the 
orchard, early in the day, Anderson's Brigade had made the 
name of the "Bloody Lane" forever famous. Its position 
thrust out in front resembled that of the "Bloody Angle" at 
Spottsylvania later. It was overwhelmed by Richardson's 
Division, losing its Brigadier, Geo. B. Anderson, mortally 
wounded. Colonel Tew killed. Colonels Parker, Bennett and 
others wounded. Its loss was great, but the fame of its deeds 
that dav will abide with N^orth Carolina forevermore. 

Sharpsburg (or Antietam). 79 

About -i p. 111., Burnside on our right (the Federal left) 
advanced, having crossed the bridge about 1 p. m., until 
which hour his two corps had been kept from crossing the 
bridge by Toombs' Brigade of 400 men. Tliough it crossed 
at 1 ]). 111., Burnside's Corps unaccountably did not advance 
till o {). m. Then advancing over the ground which had been 
abandoned by our division early that morning, utter disaster 
to our army was imminent. -lust then A. P. Tlill's Divis- 
ion arrived from Harper's Ferry, where it had been parol- 
ing ju'isoners. A delay of ten iiiinutes by Hill might have 
lost us the army; as it was, the division arrived just in time. 
The roll of musketry was continuous till nightfall and Burn- 
side was di'iven back to the Antietam. Here General L. O'B. 
Branch was kilh^d. About dark onr brigade was moved to the 
right a half mile and bivouacked for the night around Heel's 
house near a l)iii'ning barn. As we were moving by the right 
flank, we were seen by the Federal signal station on the high 
liills on the east bank of the Antietam. A shell sent by signal 
fell in the rear com])aiiy of the Forty-ninth Xoi'tli Carolina 
liegiment, just ahead of us, killing Lieutenant Greenlea 
Fleming and killing or wounding thirteen others. It rained 
all next day. We were moved back that morning to our old 
position of the Dunkard church; neither army advanced. 
That night our A\l!ole army quietly moved off and crossed the 
Potomac, the passage of the river being lighted up by torches 
held by men stationed in the river on horseback. The army 
came off safely without arousing the Federal army, and left 
not a cannon nor a wagon behind us. On the 19th Fitz John 
Porter's corps attempted to follow us across the river at Sliep- 
herdstown, and was driven back with disastrous loss. 

During the battle of the l7th, McClellan's headquarters 
were across the Antietam at the Fry house. There he had 
his large spy-glasses strapped to movable frames, and could 
take in the whole battlefield ; besides, from his signal station 
on the high hills, which border the Antietam on the east side, 
he could learn all the movements of our army. With this ad- 
vantage and his great preponderance of numbers, 87,000 to 
101,000 as against our 35,000 to 40,000 (giving the margin 
to each allowed by the official reports), it is clear that he 

80 North Carolina Troops, 1861 -'65. 

should have captured Lee. The latter had comiuitted a grave 
military fault by dividing his army by a river and many 
miles of interval in the presence of an enemy greatly his su- 
perior in nund)ers. Besides, he ought not to have fought 
north of the Potomac. Lee was saved from the consequences 
of his boldness l)y the o]iposite quality of over-caution in Mc- 
Clellan ; the hitter erroneously estimated Lee's force at 
9.5,000, when it was a little more than one-fourth of that 
number at the time the battle opened. Then, when the Fed- 
erals fought it was done in detail. At daybreak Hooker's 
Corps went in ; he was wounded, and his corps badly cut up 
and scattered. Then Mansfield with the Twelfth Corps, 
came on ; he was killed and his corps was driven out. Then 
Sumner's Corps was launched at us and came on in good 
style ; it broke our line, and was only driven back by fresh 
troops — Walker's Division taken from the right, as above 
stated, and by McLaws' Division, just arrived from Harper's 
Ferry. Sumner's Corps was driven back but fought well, as 
is shoAvn hy the fact that its loss, which was over 5,000, 
was more than double that of any other corps. When 
they went back Franklin's Corps came up, but had small op- 
portunity, as is shown by its loss of less than 500 in the 
whole battle. By 1 1 o'clock the battle on the left wing was 
practically over, except by artillery : on the other wing at 1 
p. m., Burnside's Corps crossed the Antietam over the bridge, 
but his corps did not move forward till 3 p. m., at which in- 
stant A. P. Llill's Division, arriving from paroling prison- 
ers at Harper's Ferry, met and overthrew it. The other 
corps (Fitz John Porter's) was in reserve and did not fire a 
gun, except some detachments sent to other commands during 
the battle. With six corps the weight of McClellan's fight- 
ing at any moment was that of one corps only. Had he, with 
Xapoleonic vigor, dropped his four corps — full 60,000 men — 
simultaneously on our thin left wing of 15,000 men like a 
massive trip hammer, it must have shattered it. Had he 
moved his other two cor]")s of 30.000 at the same moment in 
rear of our right, the fight would have been over by 9 a. m., 
and Appomattox would have been antedated two years and a 
half. The star of the Confederacy would have set in night. 

Sharpsburg (or Antietam). 81 

and Sharpsburg' miglit have Taken its phice in th.e history 
of onr race by the side of Hastings and Flodden. The loss 
of that army, with Lee, Jackson and the other Generals there, 
would have been fatal. We know what happened when the 
same glorions army, even with smaller numbers, disappeared 
at Appomattox. From this fate tlie leadership of our Gen- 
erals and the superb valor of our soldiers could not have saved 
us. had not McClellan singularly overrated our numbers. 
Bnt he should have known that if Lee and Jackson had really 
had 95,000 men they would not have waited for him to at- 
tack; thej would have taken possession of his army. 

Thirty-nine years after the event it is hard to realize the 
misap])rehension which then existed in the minds of others 
as well as General McClellan as to the size of Lee's army. 
As an example, read the following from the 28 (Serial ISTo.) 
Official Records Union and Gonfcd. Armies, 2G8, from the 
war Governor of Pennsylvania, Andrew G. C'urtin : 

''HAKKisiuRa. Pa., 11 September, 18G2. 
"His Excellency the President: 

* * "You sliould order a strong guard placed upon 
the railway line from Washington to Harrisburg to-night, 
and send here not less than 80,000 disciplined forces, and 
order from ISTew York and States east all available forces to 
concentrate here at once. To this we will add all the militia 
forces possible, «nd I think that in a few^ days w^e can mus- 
ter 50,000 men. It is our only hope to save the j^orth and 
crush the rebel army. * * * The enemy will bring 
against us not less than 120,000, with large amount of ar- 
tillery. The time for decided action by the j^ational Gov- 
ernment has arrived. What may we expect ? 

"A. G. CUETIN.^' 

To this President Lincoln very sensibly replied, at p. 276, 
same volume : 

''* * If I should start half of our forces to Harrisburg, 

the enemy will turn upon and beat the remaining half and 

then reach Harrisburg before the part going there, and beat it 

too when it comes. The best possible security for Penns^lva- 


82 North Carolina Troops, 1 861-65. 

nia is putting the strongest force possible into tlie enemy's 

"September, 12, 1862. A. LmcoLN."' 

The same day (12 September j, Governor Curtin tele- 
graphs the President that he has reliable information as to 
the rebel movements and intentions, which he details, and 
says: ''Their force in Maryland is about 190,000 men. 
They have in Virginia about 250,000 more, all of whom are 
being concentrated to menace Washington and keep the 
Union armies employed there while their forces in Maryland 
devastate and destroy Pennsylvania." 

In fact, as we now know from the Official Records, Lee, by 
reason of his losses at Second Manassas and from sickness and 
straggling, had only about 40,000 men in Maryland, and 
there were probably 10,000 more in Virginia, exclusive of 
the stragglers from his army, around Richmond, a total 
of 50,000 effective, while opposed to them was McClellan im- 
mediately in front with an army of 101,000 "effective," 
12,000 more Federals (afterwards captured) were at Har- 
per's Ferry, 73,000 "effective, fit for duty" were in the 
intrenchments round Washington, 10,000 under General 
Wool at Baltimore — total, by morning reports, of 195,000 
effective, besides the Federal and State troops under arms in 
Pennsylvania. are the illusions and confusion which disturb even 
the clearest minds under such circumstances. 

Singularly enough, too, General McClellan gave as his 
reason for not putting in Fitz John Porter's Corps and fight- 
ing on the 18th, that it was the only force that stood intact 
between the Capital and possible disaster. Yet on that day 
73,000 other soldiers were behind the ramparts around 
Washington. The publication of the Official Records has 
thrown a flood of light on the history of those times. 

Raleigh, N. C, 

17 September, 1901 X/^i^Z^ 


13 DECEnBER. 1562. 

By colonel S. D. POOL, Tenth Regiment ( 1 Art. ) N. C. T. 

The winter camiDaigu of 18(32 was initiated early by the 
Federal commander. 

In the months of October and jSTovember feints were made 
along the Confederate lines from iSI^orth Carolina to the 
BlackAvater. These movements were instituted to divert 
forces from the Army of Northern Virginia to the apparent 
points of attack previous to the decisive assault on General 
Lee's position at Fredericksburg, and which, they expected, 
would work the overthrow of the Confederacy. Shortly be- 
fore that attack should take place, a subordinate, though real, 
attack was to be made on Goldsboro, ISTorth Carolina, by the 
advance of General Foster from ISTew^ Bern, which, wdiile 
weakening General J^ee by the division of his forces, would 
also, if successful, interrupt his communications, and further 
the general plan. Great activity was shoAvn in Suffolk, 
where General Peck had command. Large reinforcements 
were sent to that garrison in November. The Blackwater 
was the r\)nfederate line ; and the twenty miles between the 
river and Suffolk, covered with low brushwood, and of level 
surface, intersected by innumerable roads, constituted a neu- 
tral ground traversed by the foraging parties of both armies, 
and became the theatre of frequent skirmishes of cavalry. 
Colonel Teventhorpe, of the Eleventh North Carolina Regi- 
ment, in command of two North Carolina infantry regiments, 
Ferrebee's Cavalry (Fifty-ninth North Carolina) and a Pe- 
tersburg Battery (Captain Graham's), had charge of this line 
from September to the end of November. Towards the end 
of November an attack in force was made upon Franklin — 
the Confederate headquarters — and a flank attack at a fort on 
the Blackwater, on the left of, and seven miles from, Frank- 
lin. Marshall's Regiment (Fifty-second North Carolina) 

84 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

was stationed to guard the ford. The enemy crossed the river 
at that point, and formed a line to cover the passage of their 
artillery. They were repulsed there and at Franklin. Col- 
onel Leventhorpe was reinforced by several additional regi- 
ments of infantry, and two Virginia batteries ; and some 
heavy guns were sent from Richmond and placed in position. 
The works about Franklin were enlarged and strengthened. 
General Pryor assumed the command on the Blackwater 
about 1 December. Soon after his arrival the General 
learned by his scouts that the enemy had left Suffolk in large 
force, and that Franklin was the supposed object of attack. 
Subsequent information was received that the enemy was 
marching into Gates County, iSTorth Carolina. The design 
of this movement was not understood ; but it was imagined, 
either that a large foraging party had been sent into Gates, 
or that the General was making a reconnoissance in person. 
With a view to determining this question, and diverting the 
enemy from his object, whatever it might be. General Pryoi* 
made a night advance towards Suffolk. At about 2 a. m., 
and whilst the troops were in bivouac, heavy cannonading 
was heard in the rear, and apparently at Franklin, Avhich 
was parti all}' uncovered. General Pryor withdrew towards 
his OM^n lines. The cannonade, it was afterwards discovered, 
originated with a party of cavalry from Suffolk, 500 strong, 
which had run a battery to the bank of the Blackwater to shell 
a Confederate regiment encamped on the low-lands on the 
opposite side. This party learned that General Pryor was 
in the field in force, and retreated precipitately on Suffolk, 
affording, with the withdrawal of the Confederates towards 
Franklin, the somewhat singular incident of the retreat of 
two parties, by contigiious roads, each urged by the ajiprehen- 
sion that their separate fastnesses had been attacked during 
their absence. 

On the following day it was known that the large Federal 
force, last traced to Gates County, had embarked on the 
Chowan, and that it was destined to aid General Foster in 
an expedition into N^orth Carolina. Immediately after this 
reinforcement reached him, General Foster marched frort 
jSTew Bern. He was encountered bv General N. G. Evans be- 

Battle of White Hall. 85 

I ween New Bern and Kinston, and delayed for several days 
by the obstinate stand made by that officer at every point 
where it was possible with his limited numbers, to oppose, 
with any advantage, the overwhelming strength of the Fed- 
eral advance. Intelligence of this movement was sent to Gen- 
eral Pryor, who was .ordered to dispatch Leventhorpe's Regi- 
ment immediately to Goldsboro. As General Evans was in 
need of reinforcements General Robertson, commanding at 
Garysburg, was ordered to dismount Evans' (Sixty-third 
N^orth Carolina) and Ferebee's (Fifty-ninth North Carolina) 
Regiments of cavalry, and proceed to his assistance. At Golds- 
boro, Colonel Leventhorpe received instructions to report to 
General Evans, who, rumor stated, was contendino' success- 
fully with General Foster. The train conveying the Elev- 
enth ]S[orth Carolina, was met on its way by an up train 
which the President of the road was conveying out of dan- 
ger, and, then, for the first time, the true condition of affairs 
was known, and that General Evans, who had bravely dis- 
puted every inch of ground, had been attacked by irresisti- 
ble numbers, defeated, and driven from Kinston, which was 
then occupied by the enemy. General Evans had been well 
aware, from the first, that he coidd only delay the Federal 
columns. But he appreciated justly that every considera- 
tion should be subordinate to this object. This resistance 
gained time for General Gustavus W. Smith, and enabled the 
latter to procure those reinforcements, which placed it in his 
power to meet Foster successfully, and defeat the aim of his 

When the train had gone as far as its safety would war- 
rant, it was stopped, and the troops bivouacked by the road. 
General Robertson and Colonel Leventhorpe proceeded to- 
gether on the engine to seek General Evans, who was quar- 
tered at a house on the bank of a small creek a few miles dis- 
tant from Kinston, his late headquarters. General Evans 
explained his disaster to the two officers who visited him. 
His little band of about two thousand men had been crushed 
by the enemy, nimibering twenty-two thousand men, and 
having eighty pieces of artillery. When General Evans' force 
was broken it was partly dispersed, and the position of his 

86 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

artillery was uncertain. General Evans had kept up the un- 
equal contest so long that his troops had barely time to reach 
Kinston by the bridge ere they were overtaken and scattered 
by Foster's forces. Evans' South Carolina Brigade could 
alone be mustered, and was picketing the banks of the small 
stream which he had chosen for a stand should Foster ad- 
vance from Kinston. General Evans was made aware that 
General Smith intended to reinforce him largely on the mor- 
row, and he expressed his resolution to send Leventhorpe's 
Kegiment forward in the morning to feel the enemy. But 
this determination was changed on the following day as it 
Avas thought probable that Foster might recross the river, 
march up the N euse on its southern bank to White Hall and, 
passing th" river on the bridge, interpose his force between 
General Evans and Goldsboro. General Kobertson was, 
therefore, ordered to march with Evans' (Sixty-third North 
Carolina) and Ferebee's (Fifty-ninth North Carolina) Reg- 
iments of dismounted cavalry, and Leventhorpe's (Eleventh 
North Carolina) and Jordan's (Thirty-first North Carolina) 
Begiments, prevent the enemy from crossing at White 
Hall and, in furtherance of that object, destroy the bridge 
there, if necessary. White Hall was, at that time, a small 
hamlet on Neuse river which was spanned by a substantial 
county bridge. The river, though much narrower at White 
Hall, is dec^p and navigable. On the northern side the river 
has a gentle slope to the stream, which, in 1862, was bor- 
dered by a swam]i in which there was a somewhat dense 
growth of tall timber. A quantity of this timber had Jjeen 
felled and cut into logs, which lay around the bank of the 
river, and through the swamp, affording admirable protec- 
tion for riflemen, of which good use was made on the follow- 
ing day. A gun-boat was in course of building, and stood, 
prop])ed on rollers, in the upper end of the swamp, and near 
the rivei- not far from the l)ridge. A bridge road ran through 
and about equally divided the swamp. There was perhaps a 
depth of rather less than a hundred yards of tind^ered swamp 
land on the left side of the bridge road, and between it and 
the river. The little hamlet of White Hall, built on the 
southern bank of the Neuse, consisted of two or three stores 

The Battle of White Hall. 87 

and warehouses, and a straggling street with some neat dwell- 
ings and enclosures. The warehouses Avere on the bluff 
which is lofty on the southern side ; and some eminences fur- 
ther from the river, and commanding the much lower level 
of the northern shore, gave great advantage to the former as 
a military position. The Confederate troops reached the 
neighborhood of the bridge about sunset and stacked arms 
whilst the mounted officers rode over the bridge to the village. 
Some scouts were sent out immediately on the Kinston road. 
They returned at sunset reporting the enemy advancing, and 
his scouts quite near. The bluffs were crowded with piles of 
crude rosin, and barrels of spirits of tiirpentine. By Gen- 
eral lioliertson's orders these comlmstibles were arranged on 
the l)ridge and a party detailed tn fire them when the order 
should be given. As subsequent reports convinced General 
Kobertson that the whole force of the enemy was advancing 
on him, he considered that it would be impossible, with his 
small force to jtrevent his crossing should the bridge remain 
undestroyed. Tt was therefore fired after nightfall, as the en- 
emy came up and the burning fabric, thoroughly saturated 
with turpentine, fell into the Xeuse and floated down its 
waters a blazing wreck. This Avork was scarcely accom- 
plished when the enemy entered and occupied the village. A 
strong picket from the Eleventh ]^orth Carolina was posted 
in the swamp fronting White Hall. The Confederate troops 
bivouacked within short distance. The enemy was active 
during the night, and could be heard throwing up works, and 
preparing for coming operations. Some sharj) picket firing 
occurred during intervals, and an occasional shell disturbed 
the sleeping Confederates. About midnight the Federals 
Inirned the warehouses and some other buildings at White 
Hall. Witli what object this was done was uncertain, but, 
whether in order to avail themselves of the temporary light 
(if this conflagration in directing their missiles of death, or 
whether from a wanton spirit of cauI, the act proved highly 
disastr(ms to its perpetrators in the ensuing engagements, as 
it destroyed what would have been a safe shelter for skirmish- 
ers, and exposed the infantry, without cover, and on a high 
elevation, to the balls of the Confederate soldiers. In the 

88 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

morning- (Jolonel Leveuthorpe relieved his two companies 
wliieli had been engaged (Captains Bird and Small), with 
two other companies of the Eleventh North Carolina, which 
v\ere placed nnder command of Captain M. D. Armfield, a 
noble old man, and a soldier of the purest type, who after- 
wards, as a Gettystmrg prisoner, and in confinement at John- 
son's Island, gave his life for the cause which he had espoused. 
The enemy's ])reparations being complete his guns began 
to open quite briskly upon the pickets in the swamp. Gen- 
eral Robertson formed his troops in line, and within easy 
sup])ort of the pickets should there be any intention exhib- 
ited, on the part of the enemy, to cross the river on pontoons. 
Some casualties occurred amongst the dismounted cavalry, 
and two men of Captain Bryce's company. Colonel Ferebee's 
Regiment, were killed by a shell. General Robertson ordered 
Jordan's Regiment into the swamp to relieve Leventhorpe's 
picket companies. This intention, however, was changed. 
Colonel Jordan was counter-ordered, and Colonel Leven- 
thorpe instructed to join his two picket companies, with 
his eight remaining companies, and to use his judgment 
as to the best mode of engaging the enemy, but, in any event, 
to resist the crossing of the Neuse river to the last ex- 
tremity. The Eleventh Regiment moved forward at the 
doul)lc-quick, tiled to the right through the timber on the 
river bank. It was halted, and fronted towards White 
Hall in rather extended order, to meet the large front shown 
by the enemy, as well as to lessen, by the extension of the files, 
the danger of loss by his artillery. In the meantime, al- 
though there Wi\s no vantage ground for artillery in the Con- 
federate position. General Robertson placed two small guns, 
his sole ordnance, and directed the Lieutenant (Nelson Mc- 
Clees) who commanded, to engage the enemy's batteries. 
Some seven hundred men, therefore, of the Eleventh 
Regiment and two small howitzers of this North Car- 
olina liattcry ( Company B, Third North Carolina Bat 
talion), formed the only fighting force opposed to thirty 
pieces in position, and Foster's whole command. The 
other Confederate troops, which were present, are nev- 
ertheless entitled to their full share of the credit 

Battle of White Hall. 89 

of this engagement, as tliey were placed under circum- 
stances of peril highly tr^dng to their steadfastness, without 
that stimulus of action which renders most men insensible to 
danger. A lull in the firing enabled the officers and men of 
the illeventh to hear the order of their commanding officer, 
which was to keep their order, but avail themselves of such 
shelter as the ground afforded, and to commence independent 
firing. Tlie answer came in that wild cheer, which many 
have lieard and know as the Southern soldier's expression of 
ardor and determination. The enemy's guns were arranged 
on the heights at and around White Hall in a kind of semi- 
line so as, without actually enfilading the swamp, to expose 
those who held it to a direct and oblique fire. The infantry 
which engaged the Eleventh Itegiment was drawn up in line, 
on the high ground fronting the swamp. The thirty guns 
opened at once, and fired as fast as they could be loaded and 
fired, for four hours without intermission. The Federal in- 
fantry fired \)\ volleys and at the word of command. They 
were answered by the file-firing of the Confederate Kegiment 
and by the section of a battery which might be heard occa- 
sionally through rhc din of battle in its unparalleled strug- 
gle against odds. The position of the enemy's infantry, as 
well as that of his batteries, although commanding that of the 
Confederates, had this disadvantage that it was necessary to 
depress the aim. In fact the Southern riflemen "were too 
near their enemy, and his artillery and infantry overshot the 
mark. Had the thirty guns been more depressed, or had the 
Soutliern infantry been a hundred or even fifty yards further 
to the rear, it really seems impossible that any troops could 
liave endured such a fire. The enemy's infantiy fought well 
for four hours under a destructive fire. Their line, how- 
ever, was frequently broken, and as frequently reformed. 
Some regiments faltered and ^^•ithdrew in disorder, as their 
files were thinned by the Confederate rifles, but others sup- 
plied their ])lace. At length the Federal commander con- 
ceded a repulse, withdrew his guns, and then his infantry, 
and was seen moving in the distance, with a long ambulance 
train containing the wounded. Leventhorpe's Regiment, 
the m^'n's cartridges all spent, was relieved by Jordan's, 

90 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

which engaged and drove away the skirmishers which General 
Foster had thrown out to cover his retreat. 

Such, on 6 December, ISG:^, was the engagement at White 
Hall between the Confederate and Federal forces. 

An examination of the iiekl next day resulted in the dis- 
covery of one hundred and twenty-six of the Federal dead, 
and nineteen horses left on the field. It is not probable that 
this was the sum of the killed, but only comprehended those 
whom it was inexpedient to remove under a galling fire. 

The exact object of General Foster in this engagement is 
doubtful. It seems nevertheless, as a jjontoon train accom- 
panied him that it was his design to cross the Neuse at White 
Hall, and advance from that point on Goldsboro. It is 
hardly to be supposed that, in order to overcome an unlooked 
for resistance only, ho should have sacrificed a day's time, 
and subjected himself to a loss of probably a thousand men 
in killed and wounded, with a vast expenditure of ammuni- 

The writer deeply regrets that General Robertson's report 
of this engagement,* which resulted so honorably to North 
Carolina soldiers, fighting on their native soil, as well as the 
general orders of Major-General G. W. Smith and Major- 
General S. G. French, which were in his possession until 
lately, have been destroyed In' fire. The section of artillery 
gave excellent aid in this fight. One of the two small guns 
was dismounted early in the fight, and the giinners killed ; 
but despite this discouragement the remaining howitzer was 
fought to the last against the thirty opposing guns of large 
calibre, and made havoc amongst the enemy, particularly his 
horses, which were found lying thick around those batteries 
which received the special attention of this gallant subaltern. 

The Confederate loss was slight in the engagement at 

*The report of General B H. Robertson will be found in 26 {Serial 
Number) Off. Rec. Union & Coitfed. Armies 121. General Smith's at p. 
109. General Evans' at p 112, and the Federal General Foster's at p. 54, 
all in same volume They cover the entire operations from Kinston to 
Goldsboro and contain interesting information upon an important cam- 
paign on our soil. The casualties on each side are given. Q. S. 92 killed, 
487 wounded, 12 missing. C. S. 71 killed, 2(38 wounded, 400 missing, 
though the Federal reports state they paroled 496.— Ed. 

Battle of White Hall. 91 

White Hall (10 killed and 42 wounded), including few men 
killed and wounded in the force present, but not actually 
engaged. Of those engaged the writer believes that two men 
were killed in the command of the Lieutenant of artillery 
when his gun was dismounted, and that the casualties in the 
Eleventh A'orth Carolina were seven men killed and forty 
wounded. The total number of Confederate soldiers pres- 
ent was fifteen hundred, 

Stephen D. Pool. 
Ealeigh, N. C, 

16 December, 1874. 

rinnw nflRCH at chancel- 


2 AND 3 MAT, 1863. 

By brigadier-general JAMES H. LANE. 

On the morning of 1 May, 1863, my Brigade moved from 
its position, near Hamilton's Crossing, in the direction of 
Chancellorsville. That night we formed line of battle with 
skirmishers thrown forward on the right of the road, about a 
mile and a half from Chancellorsville. Next morning be- 
tween 8 and 9, I think, after the artillery duel on the road 
to our right, where one of our caissons was blown up and the 
Eighteenth North Carolina suifered a slight loss, we were 
ordered to the left on that memorable flank movement. 

General Jackson's front line was composed of Rodes' Di- 
vision, his second of Colston's and his third of A. P. Hill's, 
with the exception of McGowan's Brigade and mine. Our 
two brigades moved by the flank along the plank road immedi- 
ately in rear of our artillery — mine being in front. 

We crossed the plank road where Generals Lee and Jack- 
son were sitting on their horses, and took the road to Wel- 
ford's Furnace, on a part of which we were in full view of 
the enemy who shelled us vigorously. From Welford's Fur- 
nace we took a circuitous route across fields and along roads 
until we struck the road on the enemy's right flank, where 
Rodes and Colston were forming their lines of battle. This 
was between 5 and 6 in the afternoon of the same day. Mc- 
Gowan's Brigade and mine moved down the road, mine being 
in front and close behind the artillery. After the enemy 
had been swept back to Chancellorsville, and we had reached 
their last breastworks, the artillery halted, as did my com- 
mand. This was a little before dark. 

We remained standing in the road for some time. Gen- 
eral A. P. Hill then ordered me to form across the road — 
two regiments to the right, two to the left, and one thrown 
forward as a strong line of skirmishers — for the purpose of 

94 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

making a niglit attack ; but soon after the order was given our 
artillery opened and the enemy's replied. I at once or- 
dered my men to lie down, as I was unwilling to attempt to 
manoeuver them in the dark, and in such a woods, under such 
a deadl}' fire. Colonel William H. Palmer gallantly crossed 
the road to know why I did not move my command. I re- 
quested him to tell General Hill that if he wished me to do 
so successfully he must order his artillery to cease firing. 
The order was given and the firing ended on both sides. 
I now formed my brigade as I had been ordered, putting 
the Seventh and Thirty-seventh on the right of the road, 
and the Eighteenth and Twenty-eighth on the left, the 
right of the Eighteenth resting on the road, while the Thir- 
ty-third under Colonel Avery, was thrown forward as skir- 
mishers. On account of the artillery fire the line was not 
formed till about 9 o'clock. The woods in front of our right 
consisted of large oaks with but little undergrowth ; in rear of 
our right there was a pine thicket, and to the left of the road 
there was a dense growth of scrubby oaks, through which it 
was very difficult for troops to move. Our skirmish line oc- 
cupied the crest of the hill, separated, on the right of the road, 
from the Chancellorsville hill by a deep valley. I cautioned 
all of my field officers to watch closely the front, as we were 
then occupying the front line and were expected to make a 
night attack. After forming my line I rode from my right 
to the road to ask General A. P. Hill if we must advance or 
wait for further orders, and on reaching the plank road I met 
General Jackson alone, I think, and he at once wished to 
know for whom I was looking. It was too dark to recogiiize 
any one, and when I was calling and asking for General A. 
P. Hill, General Jackson recognized me, as I have always 
thought, from my voice, I having been a cadet under him at 
the Virginia Military Institute. I told him, and to save 
further delay, I asked for orders. In an earnest tone and 
with a pushing gesture of his right hand in the direc- 
tion of the enemy, he replied, ''Push right ahead. Lane," and 
then rode forward. On reaching the right of my command 
to put it in motion I found that a Lieutenant-Colonel Smith, 
of the One Hundred and Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania Regi- 

Flank March at Chancellorsvilt.e. 95 

ment, had conie up between our line of battle and the skir- 
mish line, with a white handkerchief tied to a stick, to learn, 
as he stated, whether we were friends or foes. This officer 
seemed surprised at my not allowing him to return after he 
had gratified his curiosity. T was still further delayed by 
officers of the Seventh liegiment reporting that during my ab- 
sence troops of seme kind had l:ieen talking on our right. 
Lieutenant Emack, with four men, was at once sent out to re- 
connoitre, and he soon returned with the One Hundred and 
Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania IJegiment, which had thrown 
down their arms and surrendered (jn being told that they were 
cut off. Just as Captain Young (our gallant boy-captain, 
about IS or 19 years old) was ordered with his company to 
take this regiment to the rear, the right of the skirmish line 
fired, as I afterwards learned from Colonel Avery, at a person 
who rode up from the direction of the enemy and called for 
"General Williams." This unknown person escaped, but the 
firing at him caused the whole skirmish line to open, and the 
enemy responded. Much heavier infantry firing was heard 
immediately afterwards in the direction of the plank road, fol- 
lowed by a reopening of the enemy's artillery. General Pen- 
der now rode up and advised me not to advance, as General 
Jackson had been wounded, and, he thought by my com- 
mand. I did not advance, but went to the plank road, where 
I learned that General Hill had also been wounded. I there, 
moreover, learned from Colonel John D. Barry, then Major 
of the Eighteenth jSTorth Carolina Regiment, that he knew 
nothing of Generals Jackson and Hill having gone to the 
front; that he could not tell friend from foe in such woods; 
that when the skirmish line fired there was heard the clatter- 
ing of approaching horsemen and the cry of cavalry, and 
that he not only ordered his men to fire, but that he pro- 
nounced the subsequent cry of friends to be a lie, and that his 
men continued to fire upon the approaching party. It was 
generally understood that night, by my command and others, 
that the Eighteenth Regiment not only wounded Generals 
Jackson and Hill, but killed some of their couriers and per- 
haps some of their staff officers, as some of them were miss- 
ing. Colonel Barry, who was one of my bravest and most ac- 

96 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

complislied oiiicers, always thought that Generals Jackson 
and Hill were both wounded by his command. 

After the wounding of these two Generals, General Heth 
assumed command of Hill's Division, countermanded the 
order for an advance, and directed me to form the whole of 
my brigade on the right of the plank road. We were the 
only troops in line on the right of the road until after we had 
repulsed Sickles' formidable midnight attack, in which we 
captured a few prisoners and the colors of the Third Maine 
Regiment. McGowan's Brigade then prolonged our right, 
and we rested on our arms until the next morning. I did 
not see General Stuart that night, but understood he did not 
arrive to take command of Jackson's Corps until after my 
brigade had repulsed Sickles' midnight attack. 

On the morning of the 3d we were ordered to make a direct 
attack upon the enemy's works, which were composed of logs 
hastily thrown together the night previous, in our front and 
on the slope of the hill facing the Chancellorsville hill. We 
carried the works, but could not hold them on account of the 
concentrated, murderous artillery fire from the Chancellors- 
ville hill, under which the enemy threw forward fresh in- 
fantry. The brigade that was to have supported us did not 
come to our assistance, and before General Ramseur (then a 
Brigadier), could get up with his ISTorth Carolinians, we w^ere 
driven back with a loss of over nine hundred out of about 
twenty-seven hundred carried into action. Of the thirteen 
field officers of my command that participated in this charge, 
only one — Barry- — was left for duty. General Ramseur 
would go forward, though I advised him against it. His 
command reached the same works, but had to retire with a 
similar terrible loss. 

The enemy was finally driven from the Chancellorsville 
House by the Confederates carrying the salient to our right, 
where General Stuart, in command of Jackson's Corps, elic- 
ited loud shouts of admiration from the infantry as he in per- 
son gallantly rushed them over the Avorks upon Hooker's re- 
treating columns. 

James H. Lane. 
Auburn, Ala., 

2 May, 1901. 


2 MAT, 1563. 
By spier WHfTAKEIJ, Adjutant Thirty-third Regiment N. C. T. 

Early on the inorninc; oi2May, 1863, Gen. Jackson marched 
by the Furnace and Brock roads and reached the okl turnpike 
aliont three miles in the rear of Chaneellorsville, at 4 ]x m. 
As the different divisions arrived they were formed at right 
angles to the road, liodes' in front, Trimble's under Colston 
in the second, and A. P. Hill, marching down the turnpike 
in column of fours in the third line, with the Thirty-third 
North Carolina, of Lane's Brigade, at the head of the column. 
At (J ]). m. tlie advance ^\'as ordered. The enemy were taken 
by surprise and fled after a brief resistance. Kodes' men 
])ushed forward witli great vigor and entliusiasm, followed 
closely by the second and third lines. Position after posi- 
tion was carried, the guns caj->t.ured, and every effort of the 
enemy to rally defeated by the impetuous rush of our troops. 
In the ardor of pursuit through the thick and tangled woods^ 
the first and second lines at last became ndngled, and moved 
on together as one. The flight and ])ursuit continued until 
our advance was arrested by the abatis in front of the line of 
works near the central position at Chaneellorsville. Tt was 
now dark, and General Jackson ordered the third line, un- 
der General A. P. Hill, to advance to the front and relieve the 
troops of Tiodes and Colston, who were completely Wended 
and in such disorder from their rapid advance through intri- 
cate woods and over broken ground, that it was necessary to 
reform them. Lane's Brigade was formed across the road, 
the Eighteenth and Twenty-eighth on the left, the Seventh 
and Thirty-seventh on the right, and the Thirty-third in skir- 
mish line in front of the entire Brigade. Colonel Avery being 
at the center of his line, at the road. It was so dark and the 
woods so thick that the men could not be properly located or 

98 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

deployed by a mere word of command, and I was sent by the 
Colonel to the left to see that this w^as done. When I had at- 
tended to this, I returned to Colonel Avery and informed him 
that the line was ready to move forward, when he told me 
that Generals Jackson and Hill with their staffs, had just 
gone forward in front of our line reconnoitering and that 
we must wait until their return. Soon we heard firing in 
front ; the Generals and their staffs came galloping back and 
across our line bearing to the right of the road to escape the 
artillery fire. We, of course, permitted them to pass us, 
but the Eighteenth Tiegiment in our rear shouted, "Yankee 
cavalry I" and under orders from their officers, fired on them. 
As the bullets were coming from the front and the rear at the 
same time, our line protected themselves by lying down. We 
soon learned that Jackson had been terribly wounded by our 
own men and taken to the rear. There was no further ad- 
vance that night and the battle for that day had about ended. 
Thus was the greatest of our Generals killed by his own men 
while in the midst of a glorious victory and on the point of 
capturing an army three times as large as the one which was 
commanded in part by himself. 

Spiee Whitaker. 
Raleigh, N. C, 

2 May, 1901. 


By ALFRED H. H. TOLAR, Captain Company K, Eighteenth 
Regiment North Carolina Troops. 

As an eye witness to the affair I desire to make some state- 
ment of facts as they have impressed themselves on my mind 
and to call as witnesses for concurrence the gallant Major T. 
J. Wooten, of the Eighteenth iSTorth Carolina Troops, the 
chivalrous Captains V. V. Richardson and Thomas L. Lewis, 
of the Eighteenth ISTorth Carolina Troops, and other officers 

The Wounding of Jackson. 99 

of that regiment avIio Avere in line at the time this sad affair 
was enacted. 

Under the circumstances it would have been utterly impos- 
sible for any one to know who fired the fatal bullet or bullets. 
That the ^rounds were from the firing line of the Eighteenth 
JSTorth Carolina troops, officers and men of that regiment will 
testify with regret. If my memory serves me true, the Eigh- 
teenth regiment was the only regiment on the left of the Turn- 
pike, the remainder of the brigade (Lane's) being on the right 
of the road as we faced the enemy at Chancellorsville. About 
dark, General Jackson and staff, accompanied by General A. 
P, Hill and staff, rode down the Turnpike in advance of our 
line of battle, and, coining closer to the enemy's line than they 
expected, were fired on from a regiment of infantry ; and then 
some batteries of artillery turned loose with a heavy firing, 
sending shot and shell down the pike. The General and staff 
left the road, and the two Generals (Jackson and Hill), with 
staffs and couriers, came down on the Eighteenth at a rapid 
gait. The night was calm and the tramp of thirty horsemen 
advancing through a heavy forest at a rapid gait, seemed to 
the average infantryman like a brigade of cavalry. Noting 
the approach of horsemen from the front, and having been 
advised that the enemy was in front, with no line of pickets 
intervening to give the alarm, the brave Colonel Purdie gave 
the order "Fix bayonets ; load ; prepare for action !" as fast as 
the command could be given. When the supposed enemy was 
within 100 yards, perhaps, of our line, the Colonel gave the 
command, "Commence firing," and from that moment until 
notified by Major Holland (or Harris) of General Jackson's 
staff, that we were firing on our own men, the firing was kept 
up by the entire regiment with great rapidity. The horse of 
Major Harris (or Holland) was knocked down with a blow 
from the butt of a gun in the hands of Arthur S. Smith, Com- 
pany K, Eighteenth North Carolina Troops, and at that 
moment we were notified by the Major of the sad mistake that 
had been luade. 

It was during this continuous firing that General Jackson 
received his wounds, and if any other troops except the Eigh- 
teenth fired a shot I did not hear of it. The soldier on the 

100 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

firing line knows how impossible it would be for any one to 
know who fired the fatal shot, and the man who would at- 
tempt to set 11]) such a claim would certainly presume on the 
intelligence of the average Confederate soldier. 

Alf. H. H. Tolae. 
Damon, Tex., 

2 May, 1901. 

Note. — Thus fell in the glory of his prime the greatest soldier the war' 
produced, wlien the war was only half through. What heights he might 
have reached if he had lived, we know not for he was constantly growing. 

It is a singular reflection that notwithstanding the countless tons of 
bullets, cannon balls and shell fired during those four eventful years 
two niinie balls in all human probability, decided the result as it was. 
The bullet that slew Albert Sidney Johnston when in another hour he 
would have captured the Western Army witli Grant and Sherman at its 
head and that other bullet which prostrated " Stonewall" .Jackson when 
on the eve of capturing Hooker's array destroyed our hopes of success. 
There were other occasions when mismanageinent intervened, among 
them the failure to push our success. on the second day at Gettysburg, 
and Whiting's failure to capture Butler when "bottled up" at Bermuda 
Hundreds, but the deaths of Jackson and .Johnston were fatalities. 

The splendid courage of our soldiery and the patriotism of our people 
would have conquered success, but, as Napier said of Napoleon, "Fortune, 
that name for the unknown comhinations of an infinite power, was wanting 
to us and without her aid, the designs of man are as bubbles upon a 
troubled ocean."— Ed. 

i^^^llC LIBRARY., 



C on-fed &ra/te Lines 




T'tdeyTcil Lines 

Y 3, 1863. 





3 JULY. 1863. 

By major W. M. ROBBINS. 

It is not singular that students of history ' shoiild feel a 
deep interest in the stoiT of Gettysburg and especially of the 
final assault made by the Confederates on the third day of the 
battle, the result of'whieh foreshadowed the issue of the war 
between the States and the fate of the Southern Confederacy. 
So much has already been written concerning it that only ur- 
gent solicitations, from a source which I cannot disregard, 
have moved me to make this brief contribution to the story. 

The number of Confederates engaged in the assault was 
about 1 4,000, composing nine brigades, Kemper's, Garaett's, 
and Armistead's of Pickett's Division ; Archer's, Pettigi'ew's 
(under command of Colonel J. K. Marshall), Davis' and 
Brockenborough's of Heth's Division, commanded by General 
Pettigrew ; and Scales' and Lane's of Pender's Division, com- 
manded by General Trimble. They formed two lines of bat- 
tle, the front line composed of Kemper's, Garnett's, Archer's, 

^^E —This valuable article was written by my request for this work 
bv Hon W M R:.bbins who since 1894 has been one of the "Gettysburg 
National Park Conunissioners" and therefore possessed of tl^^ J" ^st 'nf^r- 
Son from the thousands of participants, coming from both armies 
^ih.vei^^sitTd the grounds. He himself was in the battle, though not 
i"^ t'J« chaif ' nrwS o^^^^ day Major Fourth Alabama Regiment on 

onr ri^ht \fter the war. Maj. Robbins returned to North Carolina^ Ins 
^^HvHtate and served with high distinction in the State Senate and the 

within qvard« of that wall. This settles that the men from this State 
nies this sketch and corroborates Maj. Robbins.-i.D. 

102 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

Pettigrew's (under Marshall), Davis' and Brockenbrough's 
Brigades in the order named from right to left; and the sec- 
ond or supporting line composed of Armistead's, Scales' and 
Lane's Brigades. In the front line were thirteen Virginia 
Eegiments and one battalion in Kemper's, Garnett's and 
Brockenborough's Brigades ; five ISTorth Carolina Regiments, 
four of them in Pettigrew's Brigade (under Marshall), and 
one of them in Davis' Brigade ; three Mississippi Regiments 
in Davis' Brigade; three Tennessee and one Alabama Regi- 
ment and Battalion in Archer's Brigade, making twenty-five 
regiments and two battalions in this line. In the second line 
were five Virginia Regiments in Armistead's Brigade and ten 
North Carolina regiments in Scales' and Lane's Brigades, 
making fifteen regiments in this line. 

The ridge on wliich the Confederates formed their lines for 
the assault is called Seminary Ridge and is 1,400 yards west- 
ward from Cemetery Ridge, which was occupied by the Union 
army. These ridges are parallel with each other, the last 
named being somewhat the higher of the two, and between 
them are cultivated fields with many fences running hithei' 
and thither about them. Tbe Emmitsburg Road also passes 
obliquely in front of the Union line, enclosed on both sides by 
post and rail fences which are almost immovable and consti- 
tute a formidable obstacle to the orderly advance of a charg' 
ing line of battle. 

Codori's house and barn just east of that road also dis- 
turbed the compactness and continuity of Kemper's line as he 

The Union position on Cemetery Ridge was exceedingly 
strong and formidable. From the elevated plateau, called 
Cemeterv Hill, whei'e the National Cemeterv is, the ridffe 
extends southward towards Round Top, a distance of more 
than two miles, and overlooks and dominates every foot of 
the ground over which the Confederates charged. Along 
its crest from Cemetery Hill to Round Top was a line of 
Union batteries which General Himt, Chief of Artillery, 
shrewdly divining what the great cannonade meant, had kept 
in reserve until the crucial moment and hurried into position 
w^hen he saw the Confederate infantry begin its advance. 

Longstreet's Assault at Gettysburg. 103 

All along the front where the assault was made there was 
also a double line of Union infantry ready to resist the as- 
sault, and the front line of that infantry was posted behind a 
stone fence which served as an almost impregnable barrier 
against assailants. Strong details of skirmishers were out 
along the fences of the Emmitsburg road and also along the 
fence running ^\esterly from that road past the Confederate 
left flank. Another point in relation to the Union defences 
should be stated, which is, that the stone fence above men- 
tioned as a strong defense for tlie Union forces does not run 
in an unbroken straight line north and south, but after run- 
ning from its southern terminus due north for several hun- 
dred yards, it turns due east at what is called "The Angle,'" 
and runs SO yards in that direction, and then turns again and 
runs due north for several hundred yards to ilie Bryan barn. 
Its length from north to "^outh almost exactly equalcl the 
length of the Confederate front line when it reached there. 
The important influence of its angular course upon the isoue 
of the Confederate assault will be shoAvn later on. 

The cannonade preceding the advance of the Confederate 
infantry opened about 1 o'clock, p. m., and continued nearly 
two hours. It was one of the greatest cannonades of modern 
times, but it nevertheless failed to accomplish the results ex- 
pected. Artillery will do to batter down fortifications, shell 
towns, sink ships and cut in pieces with grape and canister ad- 
vancing lines of infantry ; but ever>' old soldier knows that 
ordinarily it is much less to be dreaded than the "blue whist- 
lers" from the musketry. So it w%as at Gettysburg. A num- 
ber of Union gun carriages were ruined, caissons blown up, 
and now and then a soldier hugging the ground was struck 
and torn to pieces ; but there was no important weakening of 
the Union infantry lines, and the manner in which General 
Hunt saved his artillery for the crisis he foresaw has already 
been mentioned. 

As soon as the cannonade ceased the Confederate infantry 
moved forward to the assault. Only the three brigades of 
Pickett were fresh troops. All the other brigades had par- 
ticipated in the fighting of the previous days, and suffered 
heavy losses. Both their division commanders, Heth and 

104 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

Pender, had been wounded, the latter mortally. Three bri- 
gades were without their Brigadiers, Scales having been 
wounded, Archer taken prisoner, and Pettigrew placed in 
command of Heth's Division. Many Colonels and other field 
officers and a long list of company officers had been killed and 
wounded, and the losses from the ranks had been heavy- in 
most of the regiments and extraordinary in some, the Twenty- 
sixth jSTorth Carolina, for instance, having lost over 71 per 
cent, of its numbers in killed and wounded in the first day's 
fight. As the lines moved out in that fatal, final charge, a 
number of the men wore bloody bandages on account of 
wounds received in the first day's fight, and it is said that 
General Lee obsei*ved and spoke of this with much feeling 
and moistened eyes. ISTo wonder his soldiers loved their 
noble commander and were ready to march under his orders 
even into the cannon's mouth. 

]\rany Union officers and soldiers who were there and saw 
it have stood with me on Cemetery Pidge and spoken with 
admiration of the magnificent spectacle presented by the lines 
of Confederate veterans as they advanced deliberately, with 
muskets at right shoulder shift, across those broad fields. A 
storm of shells, grape and canister, poured upon them and 
cut wide gaps in their ranks, but these were promptly closed 
up without retarding the advance. The duty of indicating 
the general direction to be followed by the whole force Avas 
very properly assigned to Pickett's fresh division. The oth- 
ers were ordered to dress to the right and keep in touch with 
his left and he was ordered to move directly towards a small 
unbrella-shaped copse of chestnut oaks inside the Union lines 
a short distance south of ''The Angle." That copse of trees 
is still there, looking exactly as it did thirty-eight years ago. 
Tt is enclosed by an iron fence to keep people from carrying 
off every splinter of it as a ''relic." A large tablet has been 
erected near by containing the inscription, "The High Water 
Mark of the Rehellion." T often remind our Union friends 
good humoredly that the waves dashed up pretty high several 
times afterwards, at Chickamauga, Wilderness, Spoftsylva- 
nia, Cold Plarbor and elsewhere. They take the reminder 

Longstreet's Assault at Gettysburg. 105 

pleasantly and, to tell the truth, are ahnost as proud of our 
Southern soldiery as we are. 

When Pickett's line had advanced to the summit of the 
ridge which had sheltered it. during the great cannonade, he 
perceived that his center was not moving directly towards the 
above-mentioned copse of trees as intended, but tO' the right 
and south of it. Thereupon he very properly ordered his bri- 
gades to incline considerably to the left, which they did and 
they continued on the same course until they reached the en- 
emy's lines. The order to the other brigades from the first 
was "Guide right, and keep in touch with Pickett's left;" and 
therefore, on starting they inclined somewhat tO' their right 
SO' as to join his left. His change of direction being unfore- 
seen by them and occurring whilst the whole line was in 
motion, the result, for which none of them can be censured, 
v/as that very considerable crowding and intermingling of the 
ranks on Pickett's left and Pettigrew's right took place by 
the time they reached the Union breastworks, the effect of 
which will be noticed hereafter. 

One of the great obstacles encountered by the Confederates 
in their advance was the Emmitsburg road with its post and 
rail fences on each side and, as heretofore mentioned, running 
obliqueh' to the lines of battle. Where Pickett's right crcssed 
these fences is about 600 yards from the ITnion line and 
where Pettigrew's left crossed tliem is about 1 50 yards from 
that line. The reader can imagine how difficult it was to 
preserve an orderly alignment of the men crossing these 
fences in succession from the right flank to the left under a 
fierce storm of grape and canister and, on the left, of mus- 
ketry also, for the Emmitsburg road there is in easy musket 
range of the Union lines. Another important fact which 
should not be omitted is that the Eighth Ohio Regiment and 
a large detail from Wi Hard's ISTew York Brigade, having 
been thrown out from the Union right as skiriuishers beyond 
the Emmitsburg road, did not withdraw to their main battle 
line as the Confederates were advancing, but formed in com- 
pact ranks under cover of the fence west of the Emmitsburg 
road, perpendicular to the Confederate line and near its left 
flank. From this shelter they poured in a severe and unex- 

lOG North Cakolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

peeted cnlilaclc fire on that flank of Pettigrow's Division, con- 
sisting- of Brookenborough's and Davis' Brigades. This oc- 
curred wliilo the Confederate brigades further to the right 
were crossing the Emniitsburg road, but it was followed up 
by tlio«e llankers with energy and not without considerable 
effect on Pettigrew's left, even to tlie close of the battle. 

As soon as the Confederate front line had crossed the 
EiMmitsburg road it raised tJie well-kno^^■n battle yell and 
pressed forward against the Union breastworks. Kemper 
and Garnett were met. by the fire of Plarrow's and Hall's and 
part of Webb's Brigades in front, and Kemper also received 
an oblique fire on his right froui two regiments of Stannard's 
Vermont Brigade which had been moved out somewhat in ad- 
vance of the main line. This caused Kemper's men to in- 
cline still more to their left, whereupon Stannard wheeled 
those two regiments to his right aiul struck Kemper's right 
fi:ink, inflicting severe losses in killed aud wounded and cap- 
turiug over :200 men. General Kemper also fell desperately 
wounded about this time 75 yards froui the Union Avorks ; but 
his brigade, thougli nuicli disorganized by its losses, especially 
of oflicers, pushed on until it reached the stone fence or wall 
behind which was the Union front line, just west of the copse 
of trees heretofore mentione«i as the giiide point for Pickett's 
Division. Garnett's Brigade, though suffering fearful losses, 
also pushed on to the stone wall. General Garnett himself fall- 
ing dead from his saddle twenty-five yards west of it. Petti- 
grew and his division, with heavy losses and himself painfully 
wounded, had kept on a line with the brigades of Kemper 
and Garnett and reached the stone wall at the same time; but 
this stone wall, as has been previously stated, turns squarely 
eastward near the point reached by Garnett's left and Petti- 
grew's right, forming what is known as "The Angle," and 
after nmning 80 yards in that direction turns again and runsj 
northward to the Bryan bam near the left of the ContVlerate 
front line. Tt is not amiss to state that this last-mentioned 
section of the wall is much higher than the section ninning 
from the angle southward, the latter being about three feet 
high and the other five feet, coming up to one's chin on its 
western side. The wall is there still, presen-ed just as it was 

Longstkket's Assault at Gettysburg. 107 

in 1863 for the inspection of visitors. Behind this wall and 
close to it from its last turn northward, was a double line of 
Union infantry composed of Webb's right regiment and 
Smyth's and Willard's Brigades. There were also two Union 
lines from the Angle southward, but only one of them was 
near the wall and the other was 80 yards to the east of it. 

As ah-eady intimated, Kemper's and Garnett's Brigades 
and Pettigi'ew's Division when they reached the Angle were 
greatly weakfiied and almost disorganized by their heavy 
losses of men and officers. Their ranks on Garnett's left and 
Pettigrew's right had also become much intermingled from 
the crowding together of their flanks during the advance, by 
reason of iheir different understanding, heretofore alluded 
to, as to how their march was to be guided. After crossing 
the Emmitsburg road, Archer's small brigade had been almost 
absorbed by the left of Garnett >ind the right of Pettigrew's 
North Carolina brigade. 

It was but a few minutes after the weakened front line 
reached the Angle when the brigades of Armistead, Scales 
and Lane rushed forward and mingled with it. And now we 
come to the last act of the great tragedy which only an in- 
spired pencil could worthily paint. Armistead sprang on the 
wnl] with iiis hat on the point of his sword, called to his men 
tf) follow, and leaping down on the other side, pushed forward 
towards Cnshing's battery. He was followed by two or three 
hundi-cd \'irginians, a number of Archer's Tennesseeans and 
Alabamians, and a few of Pettigrew's North Carolinians. 
Judge Josf'])h J. Davis, of blessed memory, was one of them ; 
go he told me years ago. Some Confederate flags were 
planted on the wall and a few beyond it within the Union 
lines, but only for a very short time. General Armistead 
soon fell mortally wounded just forty steps east of the wall. 
The spot is marked with a Memorial stone. A number of the 
men who followed him over the wall were killed, most of them 
were captured, but a few made good their escape. Among 
these was Captain F. S. Harris, of the Seventh Tennessee 
Regiment, Archer's Brigade, who has shown me the spot 
where he was knocked down but rose again and made off and, 
for a wonder, got clear away. Armistead sent his watch, 

108 North Carolina Troops, 1861 -'65. 

purse, and some keep-sakes to his old comrade, General Han- 
cock, to be forwarded to his family, and then passed "over the 
river to rest under the shade of the trees." 

And while Armistead and his heroic followers were over 
in the Angle, where were PettigTew's and Trimble's thinned 
but gallant l)attalions ? They were making a desperate ef- 
fort to stoi-ni the high stone wall eighty yards east of the 
Angle and were being moAved down like grain before the 
reaper by the douljle line of infantry behind that wall. A 
few men reached it, but finding it too high to leap over, could 
do nothing but surrender. Others made a near approach to 
it, but found their ranks so thinned that further effort was 
plainly useless. The larger proportion, both of officers and 
men, v\ere stretched upon the ground killed or disabled about 
half way between the Angle and the stone wall which -they 
were assailing. General Trimble, Colonel Marshall and Col- 
onel Fry were wounded and made prisoners. General Pet- 
tigrew had his horse killed under him. Brockenborough's 
Brigade, weak in numbers, and a few companies of the left 
of Davis' Brigade, forming the Confederate line north of the 
Bryan 1iarn, had been from the first vigorously assailed by 
fiankei's, as has been already mentioned, and when they were 
charging on the main Union line posted there on a high em- 
bankment, the One Hundred and Twenty-sixth Xew York 
Regiment was wheeled to its left and throA\n upon their 
left flank, inflicting heavy losses, and a terrific fire from the 
line of infantry in their front and a storm of grape and canis- 
ter from Woodruff's Battery soon cut them to pieces and ren- 
dered further efforts hopeless. By this time the entire line 
under Pickett, Pettigrew and Trimble, was over^vlielmed and 
repulsed. The defeated Confederates fell back shattered and 
disorganized across the fields over which they had advanced 
so gallantly and proudly and the famous assault was over. 

I have not mentioned Wilcox's Alabama, and Perrv's Flor- 
ida Brigades because they, in fact, and without any fault of 
theirs, really had no part in the assault. About twenty 
minutes after Pickett's Division started, they were ordered 
to advance and support it on its right. But tlie dense cloud 
of smoke over the field concealed from them the left oblique 

Longstreet's Assault at Gettysburg. 109 

course which Pickett had taken after passing them, and so 
they marched straight forward, which caused a wide, wedge- 
shaped gap between them and Pickett's right, into which 
Stannard threw one of his \'ermont regiments and captured 
the flag and about 100 men of the Eighth Fkirida. Colonel 
David Lang, who commanded the Florida Brigade, once 
visited Gettysburg and went Avith me over the ground; and he 
told me that when they reached the Emmitsburg road near the 
Rogers House, lie saw through a rift in the smoke that Pick- 
ett's and Pettigrew's forces were being overwlielmed, and he 
would have turned back at once, but he thought it safer for 
his brigade to go forward at a double-quick and thus reach the 
bushy swale on Plum Run and escape by going down that 
southward to the Trestle Place and thence westward, as this 
route was not so directly swept by the Union artillery ; and 
both his and Wilcox's Brigades did this, with the above-men- 
tioned loss to the Eighth Florida and considerable losses also 
to the other regiments of both brigades. 

A few more words will close this paper, and those words 
will be devoted to showing how unwise and undeserved it is 
for any of the magnificent heroes who took part in that final 
bloody struggle at Gettysburg ever to impugTi each other's 
chivalry on that occasion. I was not myself a participant in 
it; I was away over at Round Top with the Fourth Alabama, 
hammering aAvay at the Yankee infantry and cavalry and, 
strange as it may seem, we did not even know of that fatal ep- 
isode two miles north of us until about sunset, and coiild 
scarcely believe it then. 

I have re-affirnied the well-known and truthful account of 
how gallantly Pickett's men fought, what they did, and how 
far they went. They had not been in the battle on the pre- 
vious two days and were fresh and well organized with all 
their officers in their places. Their losses in that assault in 
killed, wounded and captured were a fraction over 63 per 
cent., which is mucli above the average losses of troops in bat- 

I have also stated whither and how far the faithful veterans 
of Pettigrew and Trimble advanced, which was near the high 
stone wall before mentioned eighty yards farther east than 

110 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

the Angle and to' the left and northward of the spot where 
the noble Armistead fell. Does any one doubt the accuracy 
of that statement'^ If so, I must suggest the undisputed 
fact that the best proof of where a line of soldiers went to 
is wliere they left their dead ; and A\'here that was in this 
case is established beyond question by multitudes of disin- 
terested witnesses. A great many officers and soldiers of 
the Union Army, who were in the battle here and went over 
the ground where that final struggle took place, very soon af- 
terwards, have talked with me about it and emphatically con- 
fimied the facts as stated above. For instance, (to name one 
of them), Colonel E. B. Cope, the Engineer of our Gettys- 
burg Park Commission, a gentleman of the highest character 
and a Union officer in the battle here, has often told me of 
how he was invited by one of Greneral Meade's staff officers 
in the evening of that third day, to go with him up on the 
ridge and (to quote the words of the officer who invited him), 
''see such a sight as he had never before seen on a battlefield." 
The Colonel says he went and was deeply impressed by what 
he saw. The dead, he says, were very numerous in the Angle 
around the spot where Armistead fell and between that and 
the stone wall over which he and his men had charged south 
of the Angle; but they were much more thickly strewn on the 
ground in front of the high stone wall which Pettigrew's and 
Trimble's men had tried to storm and wliich runs northward 
to the Bryan barn. 

In 1895, Colonel John K. Connally, of Asheville, who was 
Colonel of tlie Fifty-fifth North Carolina Begiment of Davis' 
Brigade, Lieutenant T. J. Falls, of Cleveland County, and 
Sergeant J. A. AVhitley of Martin County, N. C, who had 
also served in that regiment and been in the battle here, made 
a visit to Gettysburg and went with me over the field. Colo- 
nel Connally had lost an arm in the first day's fight; and (by 
the way) Lieutenant-Colonel M. T. Smith had been killed 
and Major A. H. Belo had been wounded on that day, so that 
the regiment on the third day was under command of a Cap- 
tain. Lieutenant Falls and Sergeant Whitley showed me the 
ground over which they had charged and the point they 
reached, which point, as noted on our maps and in my journal, 

Longstreet's Assault at Gettysburg. Ill 

is twenty steps south of tlie Bryan bam and just nine yards 
west of the stone wall which Pettigrew and Trimble tried to 
storm. Whilst we were driving stakes to mark the exact 
spots reached by them and also where Captain Satterfield, of 
Person County, had fallen dead near by them, several officers 
and men of the Thirt}--ninth Xew York Regiment of Wil- 
lard's Brigade, who were on a visit to the battlefield, came up 
to the stone wall near us and said that while, of course, they 
could not identify the men, they could swear that a thin line 
of "rebels" did reach the very spot where v/e were driving 
those stakes, and that it extended all along in front of the wall 
and about the same distance from it all the way to the Angle; 
which w^as the whole front of Pettigrew's and Trimble's 

By reason of the death or disability of their generals and 
other officers, very imperfect reports have come down to us as 
to the numbers of men in the six brigades under Pettigrew 
and Trimble in that final assault and of the losses they suf- 
fered ; and the reports we have do not discriminate between 
the losses of the first and third days. We have, however, 
some scant data from which one can in a measure divine how 
those battered battalions of the first day suffered also on the 
third. For instance, tlie T\venty-sixth ISTorth Carolina, of 
Pettigrew's own brigade, had entered the battle of the first 
day with 820 muskets, and lost in killed and wounded 584 
men (71 per cent.), and also its Colonel, the gallant Bur- 
g%vyn. It went into the fight of the Third day with 236 men 
and had but 80 left, a loss of over 66 per cent. Its brigade 
(Pettigrew's own) lost its commander, Colonel Marshall, 
mortally wounded and captured, and came out commanded 
by Major John T. Jones, the only field officer left, and its reg- 
iments led by Lieutenants. Archer's Brigade lost five out of 
seven field officers, and its commander, Colonel Fry, was 
wounded and captured. All the field officers of Davis' Bri- 
gade were disabled, and the losses of Scales' and Lane's were 
as heavy as those of the other brigades. But why prolong this 
story, already much longer than I had intended ? As the old 
Quaker once remarked at the close of the meeting, ''A suf- 

1 rj North C\vkoi.ina Tkoots. 18(>l-'l»o. 

tioioiu'v has Kvn said. That is my opinion. 1 feel that 

The simph\ hone^st truth is that Pickett's Virginians did 
as nobly as they and their friends have ever ehiinied, and the 
Xorth t^awlinians, TennesstH:'ans, Ahibamians and ^lissiissip- 
pians, muier Pettigrew ami Trimble, did fnlly as well. 

All old soldiers know that in the thiek of a great bat- 
tle men are tcx^ entirely absorbed in their own part of it to 
look mueh about them atid observe what others are doing. 
Furthermore, when a battle ends in defeat, everybody knows 
how prone men are to lay the responsibility for it on other 
shoulders than their own. Si> it has betni in this ease. Cor- 
respondents of the prt^s of Kiehnioud. the capital of the Con- 
federacy, where they had the ear of the world, reported that 
the failure of Longstreot's assault and our defeat at Gettys- 
burg was chargeable to Pettigrew's and Trimble's men. 
This is a great mistake and a bitter wrong. That defeat was 
inevitable, as one can readily set^ now as he stands on the 
groiind and observes how strong, how advantag"eons, how im- 
pregnable the Union position was. When the shattered rem- 
nants of that heroic column were falling back, our l>eloved 
conuuaiuier. General Lee, met them and said : "This is all my 
fault. It is I who have lost this battle. Fall in, men, and 
help rae out of it." He was too magnanimons and too truth- 
ful to blan\e any of them. Let his noble example be followed. 
Let history be just and place a wreath of immarteUes on the 
graves of them all. 

Wm. ^[. ROBBINS. 
Gbttysbukg, Pa., 

3 July. 1901. 


1-3 JULY, 1663. 

By captain LOUTS G. YOUNCJ, A. A. G. 

The battle of Gettysburg was not a victory for either side, 
yet paradoxically, but rightly, it goes into history as one of 
the decisive battles of the war between the States, for it 
checked the conquering career of the Southern army, and re- 
vived the broken spirit of the Xorth at a most critical time. 
A great battle, re])lete with valiant deeds, heroic efforts, and 
fatal mistakes, on ihc part of the Army of Northern Virginia, 
it has been more written of, and has produced more contro- 
versy, than all the other battles of the war; and many able, 
some brilliant, accounts have been put forth, for the most part 
by non-participants, in all of whicli vital errors are to be 
found ; and while truth, with its proverbial slowness, has been 
taking time to put on its boots, many a falsehood has run its 
league and obtained credence. Against some of these my ef- 
forts will be directed, with statements of whtt I saw. and 
what 1 know to be true. Before beginning my narrative, 
however, it will be well to recall some of the incidents con- 
nected with the campaign into Pennsylvania, which arc so 
striking that it seems as if an unseen hand had directed them. 

General T^ee expecting from General Stuart, in command 
of his cavalry, a report of the movement of the Army of the 
Potomac, and not receiving it, supposed the enemy was still 
on the south side of the Potomac, and only on 28 -Tune did he 
learn from a scout that they had crossed into Maryland and 
were then at and about Frederick. Hitherto General Lee's 
march had been northward with Harrisburg as the objective 
point for concentrating his columns. T^Tow, the position of 
the enemy's forces was a menace to his line of communication 

114 North Cakolkna Troops. 1861-'65. 

and he turned to the east and ordered his columns to concen- 
trate near Gettvsburu'. At the same time fateful changes 
had luH'u iiiadi' in the Army of the Potomac. Hooker, who 
had nor shown himself an ahle commander at Fredericksburg 
and C'hancellorsviHe, hut who liad wisely asked for the with- 
drawal of the troops from llarj^er's Ferry, to be united with 
a portion of his army to operate against Lee's rear, tendered 
his resignation, because his request was refused; and Lin- 
coln, api»arcntly glad to get rid of him, contrary to his theory 
and saying, "Never swap lu)rses while crossing a stream," 
accepted Hooker's resignation, and gave to the Army of the 
Potomac an abler conunander in Meade, who was waked up 
late on the night of 27 .Tune, only three days before the bat- 
tle he was destined to direct, to receive his appointment. 
This change of connnanders meant a change of plans, and 
Meade, a cautious commander, determined to maneuver so 
as to force Lee to attack him; and in making disposition for 
the defense of the line he liad selected, ordered a portion of 
his army to Gettysburg as a mask to his movements. Thus it 
was that the two armies were nearing eai'h other, neither of 
them ready for (U- exptx'ting the impending conflict, and not 
aware that Gettyslnirg like a highly charged magnet was 
drawing them to it. 

On the night of 30 J une, without thought of battle on the 
next day. Hill's Corps was in bivouac eight miles to the west 
of Gettysburg, the town was occupied by Buford's Division 
of cavalry; and four miles to the southwest were the corps of 
Reynolds and llowai'd; with that of Sickles in calling dis- 
tance, these three under command of Reynolds, a Kentuckian, 
and perliaps the most capable ofiicer in the Army of the Po- 

Xow to my narrative, which will be chiefly of Pettigrew 
and his brigade. I was tlien General Pettigrew's Aide-de- 
Camp with the rank of First Lieutenant. 

Pettigrew's Brigade was composed of the Eleventh, Tw^en- 
ty-sixth. Forty-fourth, Forty-seventh and Fifty-second North 
Carolina Troops. The Forty-fourth was left in Virginia on 
duty at North Anna river so was not present at Gettysburg. 

Hill's Corps had arrived at Cashtown, about eight miles 

Pettigrkw's Brigade at Gettysburg. 115 

west of (jf'ttv.shui'fi-, (HI -ZU June. On the following morning 
Genei-al Pettigrew was ordered by General Ileth, his division 
conirnander, to go to Gettysburg with three of his four reg-' 
iments present, three field pieces of the Donaldsonville Artil- 
lery, of Louisiana, and a number of wagons, for the purpose 
of collecting conmiissary and quartermaster stores for the use 
of the army, (jeneral Early had levied on Carlisle, Cham- 
bersburg and Shippensburg, and had found no difficulty in 
having his requisitions filled, it was supposed that it would 
be the same at Gettj^sburg. It was txjld to General Pettigrew 
that he might find the town in possession of a home guard, 
which he would have no difficulty in driving away ; but if, 
contrary to expectations, he should find any organized troops 
capable of making resistance, or any portion of the Army of 
the Potomac, he should not attack it The orders to him 
were peremptory, not to precipitate a fight. General Lee 
with his columns scattered, and lacking the information of 
bis adversary, which he should have had from his cavalry, 
was not ready for battle — hence tlie orders. 

On the marcli to Gettysburg we were passed by General 
Longstreet's spy who quickly returned and informed General 
Pettigrew that Biiford's Division of cavalry — estimated at 
three thousand strong — had arrived that day and were hold- 
ing the tov/n. This report was confirmed by a Knight of the 
Golden Circle who came out for the purpose of giving us 
warning. Buford's presence made it evident that the Army 
of the Potomac, or at least a ])ortion of it, was not far off, 
and General Pettigrew sent immediately to General Heth, a 
report of what he had learned and asked for further instruc- 
tions. The message received in reply, was simply a repeti- 
tion of the orders previously given coupled with an expres- 
sion of disl^elief as to the presence of any portion of the Army 
of the Potomac. As the presence of Buford's Cavalry was 
certain, and it would not be possible for him to enter Gettys- 
burg without a fight, which he was forbidden to make, Gen- 
eral Pettigrew withdrew from before Gettysburg. This he 
did, not as was reported to General Lee, ^'because he was not 
willing to hazard an attack with the single brigade," (he had 
only three regiments of his brigade), thoTigh with Buford's 

116 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

Cavalry, supported no doubt by a home guard, to fight, the cost 
of the stores when gotten would have been dear, still General 
Pettigrew was willing to niahe the attack had not his orders 
forbidden it. Buford's Cavalry followed us at some dis- 
tance, and Lieutenant Walter H. Kobertson and I, of Petti- 
grew's staff, remained in the rear to watch it. This we easily 
did, for the country is rolling, and from behind the ridges we 
could see without being seen and we had a perfect view of the 
movements of the approaching column. Whenever it would 
oome within three or four hundred yards of us we would 
make our appearance, mounted, when the column would halt 
until we retired. This was repeated several times. It was 
purely an affair of observation on both sides and the cavalry 
made no effort to molest us. 

My object in mentioning so minutely what might seem 
unimportant and purely personal will appear when I narrate 
what happened the next day, and will help to show how the 
great battle of Gettysburg was stumbled into. Blindness in 
part seemed to have come over our commanders, who, slow to 
believe in the presence of an organized army of the enemy, 
thought there must be a mistake in the report taken back by 
General Pettigrew, but General Heth asked for and ob- 
tained permission to take his division to Gettysburg on the 
following day, for the purpose of reconnoiteriug, and of 
making the levy which had been the object of the expedition 
on the day before. Neither General Heth nor General Hill 
believed in the presence of the enemy in force, and they ex* 
pressed their doubts so positively to General PettigrcAV that 
I was called up to tell General Hill what I had seen while re- 
connoitering the movements of the force which had followed 
us from Gettysburg. As a staff officer with General Pender, 
I had served under General Hill in the seven days fights 
around Pichmond and at Cedar Run, and because I was well 
known to General Hill, General Pettigrew supposed that my 
report might have some weight with him. Yet, when in an- 
swer to his inquiry as to the character of the column I had 
watched I said their movements were undoubtedly those of 
well-trained troops and not those of a home guard, he replied 
that he still could not believe that any portion of the Army of 

Pettigrew's Brigade at Gettysburg. 117 

the Potomac was up ; and in emphatic words, expressed the 
hope that it was, as this was the place he wanted it to be. 
This spirit of unbelief had taken such hold, that I doubt if 
any of the commanders of brigades, except General Petti- 
grew, believed that we were marching to battle, a weakness 
on their part which rendered them unprepared for what was 
about to happen. General Archer with his Tennessee Bri- 
gade, was to lead, and General Pettigrew described to him 
minutely the topography of the country between CashtoA^m 
and Gettysburg, and suggested that he look out for a road that 
ran at right angles to the one we were on, and which might be 
used by the enemy to break into his line of march. And, as 
he had carefully observed the configuration of the ground 
in the vicinity of the town, told General Archer of a 
ridge some distance out of Gettysburg on which he would 
probably find the enemy, as this position was favorable for 
defense. He found him there. General Archer listened, 
but believed not, marched on unprepared, and was taken by 
surprise, his command routed, a part captured and he himself 
taken prisoner. Davis' Mississippi Brigade, close on to 
Archer's, felt the im]>act, and a portion of it, carried away 
by the break in front, made the mistake of seeking shelter in 
an adjacent railroad cut, and about four hundred of them 
were captured there. For want of faith in what had been 
told, and a consequent lack of caution, the two leading bri- 
gades of Heth's Division marched into the jaws of the enemy, 
met with disaster, and, contrary to General Lee's wish, 
brought on an engagement with the Army of the Potomac be- 
fore we were ready, and precipitated one of the greatest bat- 
tles of modern times. 

Buford, informed by his scouts of the approach of Heth, 
posted his connnand, dismounted and acting as infantry, on 
McPherson's Hidge to the west of Gettysburg, and notified 
Reynolds, who, according to the testimony before the commit- 
tee on the conduct of the war, had just received orders to 
withdraw to Afiddleburg and Manchester, Imt who, Swinton 
says, "was with Wadsworth's Division moving on to Gettys- 
burg according to prescribed orders." Be this as it may, 
Reynolds was up immediately; and Wadsworth's Division 

118 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

arrived in time to strike Archer as he was crossing Willough- 
by Run, and to cause the disaster I have described. Blood 
now having been drawn, there seemed to be no calling off the 
battle; and disposition was immediately made by Heth for a 
charge upon the enemy's position. By this time Buford'a 
Cavalry had been replaced by Wadsworth's Division, with 
the famous ''Iron Brigade*' posted directly in front of Petti- 
grew's Brigade. The other two divisions of the first corps 
arrived before the advauce could be ordered, and were placed, 
Doubleday's to the left and Robinson's to the right of Wads- 
worth, forming a long line in front of, and overlapping the 
single division of Heth. It was scarcely prudent for this 
division, two of its brigades maimed in the start, to make an 
attack on so large a force, strongly posted on a commanding 
ridge, so Pender's Division was marched to supportiug dis- 
tance, and the attack postponed. 

Pending these movements on our side, the Eleventh Corps 
of the Army of the Potomac had arrived, and the command 
of the two corps fell to Howard, Reynolds having been killed 
in the first engagement. More troops were therefore neces- 
sary to us, for we had only two divisions of infantry up 
against six of the enemy, and their cavalry hovered on our 
right, while Ave had none to oppose it. It was decided there- 
fore to wait for R. H. Anderson's Division of Hill's Corps, 
not far oft", and for Ewell's Corps, which under the insti-uc- 
tions previously given to concentrate in the neighborhood of 
Gettysburg, was on the march for Cashtown, but on hearing 
our guns, was shaping its course for Gettysburg. Rodes' 
Division coming up first, immediately attacked Robinson on 
our left, and was followed soon by Early, who turned How- 
ard's left and put to flight the army of the aliens — Schurz' 
Division of Geraians. Acting in concert with Ewell's two 
divisions— his third did not arrive until later — Heth's Divis- 
ion was ordered to charge the enemy in its front. We had 
confronted each other from early in the morning until the 
afternoon had well advanced, both sides understanding that 
a conflict of arms was in store for them, we ready to make the 
attack and they prepared to receive it. Only a few hundred 
yards separated us ; they were advantageously posted in three 

Pettigrew's Brigade at Gettysburg. 119 

lines on McPherson's Tiidge, their right in a wood of large 
trees, no nnderbnish; and a wheat field lay between us with 
no other obstruction than the nearly ripe wheat. 

As I have before stated, the ''Iron Brigade" was posted 
directly in front of ns. It was the finest brigade in the Army 
of the Potomac, and up to this time it had indulged in the 
proud boast that it had never been defeated. On the right 
of us, Archer's Brigade met with little opposition, and on 
our left Brockenborough's and Davis' Brigades Avere not so 
hotly engaged. Thus the brunt of the attack fell to Petti- 
grew's Brigade, more especially to its left. When the order 
came to advance, Pettigrew's Brigade about 3,000 strong, 
marched out in perfect alignment, and under as hot a fire as 
was ever faced, moved steadily through the wheat, reserved 
its fire for close range, which when delivered, it pressed on 
until it overcame its adversary. It was a hotly contested field, 
and the stubborn resistance of the ''Iron Brigade" was met 
with more than equal determination on the part of Petti- 
grew's Brigade. For a short time the battle raged at forty, 
then twenty, yards between the contestants. 

In the Twenty-sixth North Carolina thirteen standard- 
bearers were shot down ; and around a flag of the enemy, 
which was planted beside a large tree, the dead and wounded 
were piled up. At last with a rush the ridge was carried,* 
and the famous "Iron Brigade" nearly annihilated. Only a 
small remnant was left, to be easily driven from its second 
position on Seminary Ridge by Pender's Division. 

Of this charge the prisoners testified, that in defence of 
their own country, they fought as they had never done before, 
but that there was no withstanding such an attack. Petti- 
grew's Brigade, although it took only twenty to thirty min- 

*When we occupied the wood recently held- by the enemy my atten- 
tion was attracted by the dreadful — not moans but — howls of some of 
the wounded. It was so distressing that I approached several with the 
purpose of calming them if possible, and to my surprise I found them 
foaming at the mouth as if mad, and evidently unconscious of the sound 
of their voices This was the only occurrence of the kind which came 
under my observation during the war, and I attribute it to the effect 
upon the nerves of the quick, frightful conflict following several hours of 

120 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

utes to cover the groimJ between it and the enemy, was more 
hotlv engaged than were any of the troops that participated 
in the first day's fight, and more of the enemy were killed 
and wounded in front of it than on any other part of the field. 
I have taken part in many hotly contested fights, but this I 
think, was the deadliest of them all, not excepting the third 
day's charge on Cemetery Eidge; and never have I seen or 
known of better conduct on the part of any troops, under any 
circimistances, or at any time. The marked achievement of 
Pettigrew's Brigade on this occasion was accomplished only 
at great sacrifice of life. It lost not one prisoner, but its loss 
in killed and Avounded was 1,000 to 1,100, including a num- 
ber of its best officers. The Twenty-sixth Xorth Carolina 
Regiment lost 549 out of 800. The Eleventh Regiment some 
250 out of 550. The five field officers present with these two 
regiments were killed or. wounded. The Inspector-General 
of the brigade was killed, and its Ordnance Ofiicer wounded. 
In the many so-called histories of the battle of Gettysburg, 
which I have seen, I have found no record of these facts. The 
brilliant achievement of Pettigrew's Brigade on this day, its 
persistent courage, and its great sacrifice, have never met 
with merited acknowledgment.* 

In the midst of the engagement General Ileth was wounded 
and General Pettigrew was placed in command of the divis- 
ion. Colonel Burgwyn, of the Twenty-sixth, had been killed, 
and Colonel Leventhorpe, of the Eleventh, had been wounded, 
so the command of General Pettigrew's Brigade fell to Col- 
onel Marshall, of the Eifty-second, a very able young officer. 

I vividly recall my impression after the attack. The bril- 
liant success of Rodes and Earty on our left, ours in driving 
the enemy from our front into a position on Seminary Ridge 

*In Hoine accounts it is stated that we were fighting for several hours. 
On the skirmish line there was firing for several hours, but the charge 
on the enemy's line was quick work. To confrrm my imi>ression of the 
time taken, which I remember as about twenty minutes. J took occasion 
at the Confederate reunion in Charleston to look up evidence, and I 
found two privates who had taken part in the charge. They were not 
together when I put the question as to the time occupied in the charge; 
both answered promptly, one said twenty minutes and the other about 
half an hour. 

Pettigrew's Brigade at Gettysburg. 121 

from which he was quickly driven by Pender, left us with 
troops enough to follow up our success, and I wondered 
that we did not do so and take possession of Cemetery Kidge, 
which I believed then, and believe now, we could have 
done easily. The troops which had been engaged, although 
they had suffered severe losses, were in high spirit and 
ready to go on. In Ewell's Corps, Johnson's Division had 
come up fresh, and in Hill's Corps, Pender's Division had 
been only slightly engaged, while Anderson was in bivouac a 
short distance away. That we did not continue the fight 
was the first opportunity frittered away. If Ewell's and 
Hill's Divisions had pressed forward when the enemy re- 
tired to Cemetery Kidge, the battle of Gettysburg would have 
ended on the day it began. Ewell did not advance when Gen- 
eral Lee wished him. Hill's Corps was halted, and the enemy 
availed of our delay to hasten \\\) fresh troops and to 
strengthen his jjosition.'" 

The 2 July was also a day of lost opportunities for the 
Confederates. An early attack on either flank of the enemy 
could scarcely have failed of success. His line, three miles 
long, a])tly described as resembling a fish hook, with Round 
Top Mountain to the south the end of the shank, and Gulp's 
Hill, to tbe north the end of the curve, was a very strong de- 
fensive position if thoroughly fortified and manned with 
troops ; but either end taken by us would have rendered it un- 
tenable, and would have enabled us to sweep down upon the 
enemy and destroy him before he could escape. It was evi- 
dent that Meade's whole army could not all be up. The fact 
is, that only the First, Eleventh and a part of the Third 
Corps were present, the Second was distant thirteen miles. 

* General R. H. Anderson, of South Carolina, told me after tlie war, 
that hearing our gnns early in the day, he was hastening with his brig- 
ade to join ns; was not more than two miles away, when he was met by 
a messenger from General Lee with an order for him to halt and bivonac 
his brigade. Surprised at this, he first obeyed the order, and then rode 
on to Gettysburg to see General Lee and learn from him if this message 
was correctly delivered General Lee replied that there was no mistake 
made, and explained that his army was not all up, that he was in igno- 
rance as to the force of the enemy in front, that his (General Anderson's) 
alone of the troops present, had not been engaged, and tliat a reserve in 
case of disaster, was necessary. 

122 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

the Fifth 23 miles, and the Sixth (16,000 strong) 34 miles. 
Here was an opportunity to crush the enemy in detail ; and 
General Lee having nearly the whole of his army with him, 
was ready and anxious to avail of it. Meade's refused right 
on Gulp's Hill, if driven in, would have placed Lee's left 
partly in rear of it ; this therefore seemed to be the most vul- 
nerable point, and General Lee at first wished Ewell and Hill 
to commence the attack, to be followed up by Longstreet, on 
Hill's right ; but Ewell's and Hill's trooj)s had been hotly en- 
gaged, and the enemy's position in their front would be very 
formidable if fortified during the night, which it was, so 
Longstreet was instructed to open the attack on the enemy's 
left, as soon as possible in the morning, (he was expected to 
do so at sunrise), while Ewell should make a demonstration 
on his right, so as to prevent reinforcements being sent to re- 
lieve the point of the main attack in front of Longstreet. 
Had this simple plan been carried out, one cannot doubt that 
the enemy's left positions would have fallen into our hands ; 
and with little Round Top, which Meade said rightly was 
the key to his whole position, in our possession, three of the 
corps of the Army of the Potomac would have been crushed 
before they could have received assistance, we would have oc- 
cupied Cemetery Ridge, and the battle of Gettysburg ended 
early on the second day. But Longstreet's heart was not in 
the attack ; his troops were near the battle field at day break, 
ready and waiting, while he ''went to General Lee's headquar- 
ters at daylight and renewed his (my) views against making 
an attack." (Longstreet's words). Every moment lost by 
us was gain to the enemy, whose distant corps were hurrying 
to Gettysburg. Yet General Lee, not desiring to force Long- 
street against his will, again reconnoitered the right of the 
enemy's position to see if it might not be better to make his 
main attack there ; but he found that during the night Gulp's 
Hill had been turned into a fort. He therefore at 1 1 o'clock 
ordered Longstreet to attack, which order was not obeyed, on 
the plea of waiting for Law's Brigade, which was on picket. 
The attack, therefore, instead of being at sunrise, or at 11 
o'clock, was postponed to late in the afternoon, some nine 
hours later than it should have been. Bv this time Meade 

Pettigrew's Brigade at Gettysburg. 123 

had strengthened his left, new troops had arrived and what 
would, without doubt have been an easy and brilliant success 
in the morning, was a cruel failure in the afternoon. 
Heth's Division was not engaged on the 2d. 
The third day found the Army of JSTorthern Virginia weak- 
ened by the hard fighting of the first day, and by the dis- 
jointed efforts of the second, but there was still left in its 
"incomparable Southern infantry" the spirit and strength to 
achieve success if a proper concert of action could be obtained. 
General J^^e, therefore, decided to renew the attack, this time 
on the enemy's left center, his flanks being now too strongly 
fortified and guarded. The attack was again unfortunately 
intrusted to Longstreet, who, if he had little heart for the sec- 
ond day's iight, made no concealment of the fact, that he had 
none at all for the third day's ; and to this cause, without seek- 
ing any other, may be traced its failure. The weight of ev- 
idence goes to prove that it was General Lee's intention that 
Longstreet should make the attack with his entire corps, to be 
supported l)y half of Llill's Corps, all of it if necessary, and 
should this force succeed in penetrating the enemy's line, all 
the troops on the right to be pushed forward. Meanwhile 
Ewell on our left, acting in concert, was to assail the enemy's 
right so as to prevent him from reinforcing his center, and to 
assist in crushing his right wing. The artillery Avas to pre- 
pare the way, and before the smoke of the guns should have 
cleared away the attacking column was to be started. All 
this required concert and prompt, spirited action. But this 
is what happened. "General Longstreet's dispositions were 
not completed as expected," (General R. E. Lee's report) 
and therefore Ewell could not be notified, his attack, which 
was to have been simultaneous with that of Longstreet's, was 
made and repulsed. Thus the object of the diversion on the 
enemy's right was defeated. At 11 o'clock Colonel A. P. 
Alexander, in charge of the artillery, with nearly 150 guns 
ranged along Seminary Ridge, reported that he was ready; 
but not until 1 p. m. was the order given by Longstreet to 
commence firing. At the appointed signal our artillery 
opened on the enemy with its 150 guns, and kept it up for 
nearly two hours. Meanwhile the assaulting column had 

124 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

been formed, but its composition was not on tbe scale contem- 
plated by General Lee. Instead of its being the entire First 
Corps with the Third to support it, Longstreet had selected 
only Pickett's Division from his corps, to which were added 
from Hill's Corps Heth's Division, two brigades from Pen- 
der's and one from Anderson's. Pickett's Division of three 
brigades was posted in two lines behind a rise on which 
runs the Emmettsburg road, its right supported by Wilcox's 
Brigade. Heth's Division to the left of Pickett's, and fully 
one hundred yards further back, was in one line behind the 
crest of Seminary Pidge, with Lane's and Scales' Brigades 
under Trimble in rear of its right. 

When Pettigrew, commanding Heth's Division, reported 
to Longstreet he was instructed to form in rear of Pickett 
as a support to his division, but before the order could be ex- 
ecuted it was countermanded, and directions given to place 
the division under the nearest cover to the left of Pickett's 
Division, with which it would advance in line. The align- 
ment of the divisions from right to left, w'as, Archer's Bri- 
gade of Tennesseeans under Colonel B. D. Fry ; Pettigrew's 
North Carolinians under Colonel James K. Marshall ; Davis' 
Mississippians under General Joseph Davis, and Brockenbo- 
rough's Virginians under Colonel Pobert Mayo. Pickett's 
was the directing division ; when it moved, Heth's Division 
was to move and as soon as possible overtake Pickett and 
continue the advance in line with it on its left. After much 
delay and uncertainty as to whether the attack would be made 
at all, Longstreet at last, with a nod of the head, started Pick- 
ett, and immediately Archer's and Pettigrew's Brigades 
moved forward. Pettigrew had taken every precaution to 
insure concert of action in the division ; l:)ut this was no easy 
matter, for the woods which concealed us from view of the 
enemy, and to some extent sheltered us from his shells, con- 
tained other troops seeking the same shelter, and it so hap- 
pened that General Davis, who afterwards told me that he 
had been indignant with General Pettigrew for cautioning 
him so frequently to conform promptly to the movement of 
Pettigrew's Brigade on his right, mistook other troops for 
Pettigrew's and did not discover his mistake until the two 

Pettigrew's Brigade at Gettysburg. 125 

right brigades had advanced some distance. When we 
emerged from the wood into the plain, the absence of the two 
left brigades was discovered, and General Pettigrew instruct- 
ed me to go for them with all speed, but I had scarcely turned 
to do so, when out came Davis from the woods with a rush, 
but not Brockeuborough's Brigade, and I asked General Pet- 
tigrew if I should go for it. He replied, ''K'o," that it might 
foUoAv, and if it failed to do so it would not matter. This 
was a small brigade that had suffered from frequent change 
of commanders, and had been so badly handled that it was in 
a chronic state of demoralization, and was not to be relied 
upon ; it was virtually of no value in a fight. Afterward it 
advanced to the protection of some rifle pits in front of Sem- 
inary Kidge, but it took no part in the charge. 

The day was beautifully clear; the smoke from the guns 
of the artillery, which was to have concealed our start, had 
been blown away. Before us lay bright fields, and a fair 
landscape, embracing hill and dale and moimtain ; and be- 
yond, fully three-fourths of a mile away loomed up Ceme- 
tery llidge, for two miles, its heights capped with cannon, 
and behind them the whole Army of the Potomac waiting 
for our little band. Davis' Brigade with its impetuous rush 
soon caught up with the two brigades of Heth's Division 
which had preceded it, and then the three, pushing forward 
together, caught up with Pickett's Division, making one line 
of the two divisions, which first through shot and shell, then 
grape and canister, then a hail of bullets from the musketry, 
marched over the plain, surmounted every obstacle, and 
reached the enemy's position, the strength of which was all he 
could desire. From the crest upon which he was entrenched 
the hill sloped gradually, forming a natural glacis and the 
configuration of the ground was such that when the left of 
our line approached his line it must come within the arc of a 
circle, from Avhich an oblique and the enfilade fire could be, 
and was, concentrated upon it. On the right Pickett's Divis- 
ion, Archer's and a part of Pettigrew's Brigade had pene- 
trated the w^orks, and so would all of it have done, but in the 
advance the pressure had been from right to left, and when 
the line reached the ridge, it vras sKghtly oblique ; consequent- 

126 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

ly tlie left of Heth's Division was thrown back somewhat. 
Wlien not far from the stone fence behind which the enemy's 
infantry was entrenched, Davis' Brigade, reduced to a line of 
skirmishers, broke. It had suffered a great deal in the first 
day's fight ; and in its rush from the wood on Seminary 
Ridge, it had arrived right oblique on Pettigrew's left, and 
in process of forcing its line back to the left, in order to get 
into position, there was for a little while a huddling of the 
men together, which exposed them to greater loss than should 
have been, but the line was soon straightened out, and no 
troops could have done better until they broke; but this bri- 
gade was on the extreme left, not a support of any kind to 
brace it up, and exposed to flank, oblique and direct fire, what 
hope or confidence could be left to the few men, that if they 
held on they could succeed. General Fitzhugh Lee, in his 
work entitled ^'General Lee," says of the left brigades of our 
assaulting columns, which includes Davis', Pettigrew's and 
Archer's : 

"They made their assault in front of Hay's and Gibbon's 
Divisions, Second Corps, in the vicinity of Ziegler's Grove. 
Stormed at with shot and shell this column moved steadily 
on, closing up the gaps made, and preserving the alignment. 
'They moved up splendidly,' wrote a iSTorthern otficer, 'deploy- 
ing as they crossed the long, sloping interval. The front of 
the column was nearly up the slope, and within a few yards 
of the Second Corps' front and its batteries, when suddenly 
a terrific fire from every available gun on Cemetery Ridge 
burst upon them. Their graceful lines underwent an instan- 
taneous transformation ; in a dense cloud of smoke and dust, 
arms, heads, blankets, guns, and knapsacks were tossed in the 
air, and the moans from the battlefield were heard from amid 
the storm of battle. Sheets of missiles flew through what 
seemed a moving mass of smoke ; human valor was powerless, 
and the death-dealing guns were everywhere throwing blazing 
projectiles in their faces.' No troops could advance and live. 
The fiery onslaught was repulsed as Pickett's Division had 
been, and then the survivors of both came back to their former 
positions, but not one-half of the fourteen thousand. The 
famous charge was over." 

Pettigrew's Brigade at Gettysburg. 127 

General Pettigrew had assigned me to the left of the divis- 
ion, and my duty was to see that the proper alignment was 
kept and if necessary to encourage the men, should there be 
any sign of faint-heartedness. At first I found it difficult 
to keep the men from crowding, and to make them give way 
to the pressure from the right, and this may have given the 
impression to some lookers on that our line wavered, but this 
trouble was soon remedied by the thinning of the ranks, done 
by shot and shell. As to my secoiul duty, that of encouraging 
the men to move forward, there was no need of a word from 
me. When gaps were made in tlie line the ranks closed up 
of their own accord, and continue*! to advance, until the catas- 
trophe, which I have described. Of course no troops, it mat- 
ters not what their straits, should retire from an attack with- 
out orders to do so ; but there is certainly mitigation for those 
who had none of their company officers to look to, and there 
were many companies, reduced to a few men, whose officers 
had all fallen. When what was left of Davis' Brigade broke 
it did so in an instant, there was none of the before-hand wav- 
ering reported by Longstreet and others, who were looking on 
from afar or not at all. This, like many others of the reports 
concerning the charge, was wholly imaginary. When Davis' 
Brigade broke, I reported to General Pettigrew and he imme- 
diately sent me to General Trimble to ask him to hasten for- 
ward to our support. I was then on foot. My gallant mare — 
and that she was gallant, her groom,* who was with me all 
during the war, and who has been my friend and servant for 
forty years, can testify — had succumbed to three wounds; 
and do not think me heartless, when I tell you, that when I 
placed a wounded soldier on her and sent them out, the 
thoughts of my heart were more with the spirited animal 
which had borne me bravely through many perils, than with 
my hurt comrade. I ran as fast as I could to deliver the mes- 
sage entrusted to me. General Trimble and his brigade were 
not and had not been in supporting distance ; they also must 
have been delayed, as was Davis' Brigade in the wood on 
Seminary Ridge. Be this as it may, they were too late to 

* James R. Norwood, a colored man. 

128 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

give any assistance to the assaulting column. When I deliv- 
ered mv message, I knew it was too late, and I recall my sad 
reflection, "What a pity that these hrave men should be sacri- 
ficed." Already had the remnants of Pickett's and Heth's 
Divisions broken. They broke simultaneously. They had 
together struck the stone fence, driven back the enemy posted 
behind it, looked down on the multitude beyond ; and in the 
words of General McLaws, who was watching that attack, 
"rebounded like an India rubber ball." The lodgment ef- 
fected, was apparently only for an instant. No twenty min- 
utes expired, as claimed by some, before the hand full of 
brave men was driven back by overwhelming numbers. Then 
Trimble's command should have been ordered to the rear. 
It continued its useless advance alone, dinly to return before 
it had gone as far as we had. 

After delivering my message to General Trimble I re- 
turned to General Pettigrew. I found him walking out qui- 
etly ; he too had been dismounted, and together we returned 
to our starting point, arriving there after most of the survi- 
vors from the two divisions. Thus ended the famous battle 
of Gettysburg. Notwithstanding the failure of its efforts, 
the army was still unconqnered in spirit, and had Meade fol- 
lowed us back to Seminary Ridge, he would have found our 
troops read}^ to mete out to him what he had given us. But 
according to General Sickles, before the committee on the con- 
duct of the war, "it was by no means clear, in the judgment 
of the corps commanders, or of the general in command, 
whether they had Avon or not," they therefore made no coun- 
ter attack, and scarcely molested General Lee's army, as it 
slowly and deliberately withdrew, and returned to Virginia. 

The number composing the assaulting cohimn on this last 
day is variously estimated at 13,500 to 18,000 men. The 
troops actually engaged were in reality, only Pickett's Divis- 
ion of 4,500 to 5,000, and three brigades of Heth's, which 
were at the outside not over 4,000. Wiloox on the right ad- 
vanced only a small part of the way and was of no assistance 
to Pickett, and Trimble's advance was too late to be of the 
least support to our left. The little band of less than 9,000 
men had traversed the wide plain, intersected with fences 

Pettigrew's Brigade at Gettysburg. 129 

mnniiio', some parallel, some oblique to our line, without shel- 
ter of any kind, without assistance from our artillery which 
had expended its ammunition, and had done no damage to 
that of the enemy or its infantry. The charge was grand, 
but that is all it was. "Some one had blundered." Said 
General Lee, "had I had Stonewall Jackson at Gettysburg I 
would have won a great victory." So I believe, but the man- 
tle of Elijah had not fallen on Elisha. Longstreet was not 

There was, now is and always will be given to Pickett's 
Division exalted ]jraise for its part in this famous charge 
upon the heights of Gettysburg and it deserves it ; but I claim 
for Pettigrew's and Archer's Brigade not only equal, but a 
larger share of the honors of the day ; and even to Davis' Bri- 
gade, although the first to break, is due the tribute which is 
the meed of noble effort and heroic sacrifice in face of certain 
defeat. Whatever might have been the probabilities on the 
right and center of the assaulting column, there was no hope 
for the left, its flank stormed on by every conceivable missile 
of destruction. In its shattered condition it could have made 
no lodgment. Pickett on the right, although not supported 
by Wilcox as was intended, had the advantage of having been 
formed in two lines — two brigades on the front, one on the 
second line as a support ; whereas Heth's Division, unde-r or- 
ders, advanced in one line. Pickett's Division having been 
posted more than one hundred yards in advance of. Heth's, 
had a shorter distance to go; and above all, Pickett's Division 
was fresh. It had not yet participated in the battle ; its or- 
ganization v.'as complete, with a full roll of staff and field of- 
ficers. Heth's Division had suffered groat loss on the 1st, 
and General Pettigrew had with him as division staff, only 
the young volunteer aide, W. B. Sheppard, and myself; 
therefore the brigades of Archer and Pettigrew, which did in 
all respects as well as did Pickett's Division, are entitled to 
more credit, whereas they have been often included in the 
number of those blamed for the failure of the charge on Cem- 
etery Ridge. 

'No State in the Confederacy contributed braver, more de- 
voted or better soldiers, or a greater number of them than did 

130 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

ISTorth Carolina ; and yet in this instance, for some unaccount- 
able reason, they were made a mark for ignorant or vicious 
and false disparagement. In Heth's Division, of the sixteen 
regiments present at Gettysburg, only five were from North 
Carolina, yet such stufl:" as this, conceived in the brilliant im- 
agination of Swinton, finds credence and is repeated in other 
histories of like kind. Says Swinton : "It happens that 
the division on the left of Pickett under command of General 
Pettigrew was in considerable part made up of North Caro- 
lina troops, comparatively green. To animate them they 
had been told that they would only meet Pennsylvania mili- 
tia; but when approaching the slope they received the feu 
d'enfer from Henry's line, there ran through the rank a cry 
the effect of which was like that which thrilled a Greek army 
when it was said that the god Pan was among them: 'The 
Army of the Potomac' Then, suddenly disillusioned re- 
garding their opponents, Pettigrew's troops broke in disorder 
leaving tAvo thousand prisoners and fifteen colors in the hands 
of Ilejiry's Division." Brilliant rhetoric, but not truth. 
Think of the audacity of the manufacture. It says of Heth's 
Division, that it was ''in considerable part made up of North 
Carolinians," when they were only as five to sixteen; and 
then that they were frightened at a cry, "The Army of the 
Potomac." This, two days after Pettigrew's Brigade of 
North Carolinians had neaidy annihilated the best brigade in 
the Northern army. 

Another matter of no little importance. The division, 
even by such authority as Colonel AValtcr H. Taylor, of Gen- 
eral Lee's Staff, is spoken of as "Pettigrew's Division." Pet- 
tigrew had no division. The division was Heth's, and should 
be so spoken of whether in praise or blame. "In war," said 
Napoleon, "men are nothing, a man is everything." Troops 
are what their commanders make them; and General Petti- 
grew had no hand in molding Heth's Division. Nor is it 
fair to blame Hetli for the shortcoming of Brockenborough's 
Virginia Brigade, under Robert Mayo, the only troops on the 
ground which really behaved badly, for the division had been 
formed only a few weeks before, and had been constantly on 
the march since. There was not time for the influence of 

Pettigrew's Brigade at Gettysburg. 131 

the commander to be felt. In this matter not even a suspi- 
cion of blame must be attached to the name of Pettigrew, 
whose genius was such that its influence inspired and became 
a part of the humblest soldier in his command. He had in 
a few months made of his brigade as fine a body of infantry 
as ever trod the earth, and his men would have followed him 
wherever lie led, or gone wherever he told them to go, no mat- 
ter how desperate the enterprise. The brigade never lost the 
inspiration of his name, and from first to last was one of the 
very best in the army of the Confederate States. Its bap- 
tism of blood at Gettysburg prepared it for all subsequent 
hardships, and never, until included in the surrender of the 
9,000 at Appomattox, did it fail to respond to the command 
to go forward. Its career was brilliant, and its history 
should be written and preserved. Its losses at Gettysburg 
attest its fierce struggle in that famous battle. On the morn- 
ing of 1 July it numbered 2,800 to 3,000, on the 4th 935. All 
the field officers, save one who was captured, were killed or 
wounded ; and the Ijrigade Avas commanded after the repulse 
from Cemetery Ridge by Major Jones, of the Twenty-sixth 
North Carolina, who had been struck by a fragment of a shell 
on the 1st, and knocked down and stunned on the 3d ; Gen- 
eral Pettigrew Avas painfully wounded, two of his staff Avere 
killed,* and one so seriously Avounded as to deprive the bri- 
gade of his services. On 1 July, Captain Tuttle, of the 
TAventy-sixth North Carolina, led into action tAvo Lieuten- 
ants and 84 men. All of the officers and 83 men Avere killed 
or Avounded. On the same day Company C, of the Eleventh, 
lost tAvo officers killed and 34 out of 38 men killed and wound- 
ed. Captain Bird Avith the four remaining, participated 
in the fight of the 3d ; of these the flag bearer Avas shot, and 
the Captain brought out the flag himself. These I give as ex- 
amples to shoAv hoAv persistently our men fought. The losses 
in several other companies Avere nearly as great as these. 
In the engagement of 1 July Ave lost no prisoners. After 

* Captain W. W. McCreery. Inspector General, was killed on 1 July. 
Captain N. C Hughes, A A. G., Avas mortally wounded nn the 3rd when 
with the Brigade under Colonel Marshall. "Lieutenant Walter H. Eob- 
ertson, Ordnanee Officer, was wounded on the 1st. 

132 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

the repulse of 3 July, the enemy advanced a heavy line of 
skirmishers and captured some of the brigade, hnt no blame 
is to be attached to these. 

Lieutenant-Colonel John A. Graves, of the Forty-seventh 
ISTorth Carolina, whose courage often elicited comment and 
praise, would not permit those of his regiment in his hear- 
ing, some 150 men, to retire, telling them to wait the arrival 
of the supports, with which they would advance; they were 
then not far from the stone fence. The supports never 
reached this point, and the Lieutenant-Colonel and his men 
were taken prisoners. 

It is said that the Northern soldiers cheered the gallant 
charge made by the assaulting column on the third day, and 
of Lincoln it is reported that, looking from the steeps of Cem- 
etery Ridge, he said, 'T am proud to be the countryman of 
the men wdio assailed these heights." Is it not a crying 
shame that while our very enemies do us honor, there should 
be some among our own people to slander our brave soldiers ? 
The historian of the future Avill weigh the evidence in the 
scales of truth, and do justice to all. 

Praise is due to their memory, and for ourselves it is good 
to render it, since "we in some measure take part in good ac- 
tions when we praise them sincerely." Heroic deeds are 
torches to light the paths of our young, and — 

"Heaven doth with us as we with torches do, 
Not hght them for themselves." 

I would like especially to tell of General James Johnston 
Pettigrew^, who was a soldier of the highest attainments ; in 
strength of intellect approaching nearer the attributes of 
genius than any it has been my fortune to meet, and in char- 
acter like Robert E. Lee. But this article is full long, and I 
can only say of our dead heroes, that — 

"They died 
As they wished to die, the past is sure ; 
Whatever of sorrow may betide, 
Those who still linger by the stormy shore, 
Change cannot harm them now nor fortune touch them more." 

Louis G. Young. 
Savannah, Ga., 

3 July, 1901. 


By JOHN T. JONES, Lieutenant-Colonel Twenty-Sixth Regiment 
North Carolina Troops. 

Our division was in the front line on the left of Pickett, 
and a i3rolongation of the same line. Onr brigade was on the 
right of the di^dsion — onr regiment (Twenty-sixth) on the 
right of the brigade — consequently immediately on the left of 
Pickett. When we started, we were on the diameter of a cir- 
cle, and as we advanced, Pickett following the arc of the cir- 
cle, necessarily rather contracted the lines towards the cen- 
ter. We all moved oft' in as magnificent style as I ever saw, 
the lines i)erfectly formed. On we went. When we had 
crossed about half the intervening space the enemy opened 
on us witli a tremendous shower of grape and canister, but 
on we dashed, our l)rigade and Pickett's men. I could see 
nothing of the rest of our division, as they were too far to 
the left. My whole attention was directed to our own bri- 
gade and Pickett's Division, as we had been ordered to keep 
dressed to the right. When we had gotten within about 100 
yards of the enemy's works, we commenced firing, but still 
advancing. The storm of lead which now met us is beyond 
description. Grape and canister intermingled with minies 
and buckshot. The smoke was dense and at times I could 
scarcely distinguish my own men from Pickett's, and to say 
that any one a mile off could do so, is utterly absurd. On 

Note.— This article is an extract from a letter to the father of Colonel 
Henry K. Bnrgwyn written from Culpepper C H., 30 July, 1863, by John 
T Jonesof the Twenty sixth North Carolina Regiment who as Major came 
out of the charge at Gettysburg in command of Pettigrew's brigade and 
was published in the FaiietteHlle Ohm-rer 18 April, 1864. It has the great 
merit of being cotemporaneous evidence from a most unquestionable 
source This gallant young officer was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel 
to date from 1 July, 1863, and was killed at the Wilderness 6 May, 1864. 

134 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

we pushed, and were now right upon the enemy's works when 
we received a murderous fire upon our left flank. I looked 
to see where it came from, and lo, we were completely flanked 
upon our left, not only by infantry, but by artillery. Here 
candor compels me to admit that one of the brigades of our 
division had given way, the enemy had seized upon the gap, 
and now poured a galling fire into our left, which compelled 
the troops to give way in succession to the right. What could 
we do now ? At the very moment I thought victory ours, I 
saw it snatched from our hands. With no support upon the 
left, I asked myself what we should do. I had only about 
sixty men left in my regiment, and that small number dimin- 
ishing ev M-y moment. The others had suffered as badly. 
The order ame from the right to fall back. We did so at the 
same time with Pickett. The day was lost. You must ob- 
serve I do not attach any blame to Pickett. I think he did 
his duty, and if he did, we certainly did ours, because I know 
we went as far as he did, and I can safely assert some distance 
beyond, owing to the shape of the enemy's Avorks, which ran 
backward in our front in the form of a curve, and which 
compelled us to go beyond where Pickett's men were already 
at their works in order to reach them ourselves. The color- 
bearer of my regiment Avas shot down while attempting to 
plant the flag on the wall. I will here mention a remark 
made to me afterwards by General Pettigrew. With tears 
in his eyes he spoke of the loss in his brigade, and then re- 
marked: ''iMy noble brigade had gained the enemy's works, 

and would have held them had not 's brigade given 

way. Oh ! had they have known the consequences that hung 
upon their action at that moment, they would have pressed 

It is well to be remembered that while Pickett's men were 
perfectly fresh, having nevei' fired a gun and having just come 
up, our brigade had been terribly cut up on the 1st, especially 
two of the regiments. The Twenty-sixth, which went into 
action on the 1st 850 strong, on the 3d only had for duty 230 
men, and not officers enough to command the companies. If 
some troops can gain so much credit for being defeated, is it 
not strange that nothing is said of us when we (on the 1st) 

Pettigrew's Brigade at Gettysburg. 135 

drove line after line of the enemy from their positions like 
sheep, and pnrsued them for two miles. What I say of our 
brigade I might say of the whole division. JSTo troops ever 
fonght better than ours. We were engaged for hours with 
five times our number, and routed them completely; but our 
loss was fearful — about 50 per cent. — among them our best 
officers. Our Major-General was wounded the first day. 
Captains and Lieutenants were in command of regiments on 
the 3d. Still we were put in the front rank, the post of 
honor, and not in support, as the Enquirer has it, when there 
were other troops comparatively fresh, who might have taken 
our place. Does not this show the confidence of our general 
in us ? 

Then look at our losses, which leaving out of account the 
first day, greatly exceed those of any other troops. Had Gen- 
eral Heth not been wounded, or had the lamented Pettigrew 
lived they con Id have told a tale that would have made those 
blush who are now trying to bear off the honors so nobly won 
by others. But alas, we have not even enough left to refute 
the foul calumny of those who would basely endeavor to pluck 
from our brows the laurels placed there at the sacrifice of so 
many of our noble companions. 

That we still retain the confidence of our commander is 
shown by our being placed as rear-guard, the post of honor, 
while the other troops were safely crossing the river (Poto- 
mac. ) It was hei'e in an attack made upon our lines that the 
brave Pettigrew fell, while setting an example of heroic cour- 
age and presence of mind to those who had followed him un- 
faltering through so many dangers and hardships. In him 
the brigade sustained its heaviest loss. In him our State lost 
one of her brightest stars, and the Confederacy one of her 
ablest defenders. 

John T. Jones. 

Culpepper C. H., Va., 

30 July, 1863. 



By captain S. A. ASHE, A. A. G., Pender's Brigade. 

The rhird day ot the struft'gde between the contending 
armies near Gettysbnrg- opened clear and chadless. The 
July sun beamed down on the battlefield of the previous day 
majestically serene — thro^^■iniI,• into bold relief the outlines of 
the picture. 

Standing- on Cemetery Hill, a mile south of the little town 
of Gettysburo-. one saAV the range continue to the southward, 
now jutting <Mit into the valley to the west, and then receding 
in strong curves eastward, now falling with even slo]ies and 
then spelling again in graceful contour — but further away 
breaking into precipitous promontories whose rocky knobs 
were veritable Ivoniid To])s and fitly associated with Devil's 

Almost parallel and about a mile away to the west could 
be traced the course of Seminary liidge, gently rising from 
the intervening valley and still covered with a growth of orig- 
inal forest trees. Along the slope are fences inclosing fields 
with patches of wood here and there and a little swale down 
the valley where it narrows as the ridge throws out a spur to 
the eastward. 

Coming from the town is the Enmiettsburg Pike which 
after ])assing the summit of Cemetery Hill swerves off along 
a lower and divergent ridge that trends across the valley. 
Overlooking the pike is a stone wall following along the up- 
per slope of C^emetery Ridge and conforming generally to 
the line of its crest, but, at a ])oint some six hundred yards 
away where the hill grows holder and juts well out into the 
valley, this wall makes a right angle and comes straight to- 
wards the ])ike, and then again follows the crest, which soon 

138 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

retreats and falls away, leaving a slight depression embayed 
in the general outline. 

On this headland, that like a bastion front projects itself 
into the valley, stands a clump of trees which served to guide 
the right of tlie attacking column on that fateful day ; and a 
quarter of a mile in front, but further down the valley, stood 
the farm house of Cordori on a little knoll surrounded by a 
sparse grove. 

Beyond the Cemetery to the north the range bent sharply 
to the right, forming a difficult eminence known as Culp's 
Hill; and on the curve from Culp's Hill west to the Ceme- 
tery and thence south to Round Top, was massed the Federal 
army, some 100,000 strong: while on an exterior line of sis- 
ter hills lay Lee's forces, with Ewell on the left in possession 
of a part of Culp's Hill, and Longstreet on the right towards 
Eound Top, while A. P. Hill covered the centre ; a total force 
of about 60,000 troops. 

Dispositions had been made for an early morning attack 
on the 3d, simultaneous by Ewell on the right and Longstreet 
on the left ; and with that view the artillery had been massed 
against the Federal center, Colonel Alexander, acting as 
Longstreet's chief of artillery, having occupied, during the 
night, an advanced ridge that lay several hundred yards be- 
yond Longstreet's front, and covered it with batteries. 

But Meade himself had not been inactive, and, at 4 o'clock 
in the morning, he unsettled this plan of attack by driving 
back Earh-, whose lodgment on Culp's Hill was an essential 
part of Lee's proposed movement. Later in the morning, 
then, Lee determined on making that assault which has since 
been so famous in history. 

General Long, the author of Lee's Memoirs and then on 
Lee's staff, says: ''This decision was reached at a confer- 
ence held during the morning on the field in front of Round 
Top, there being present Generals Lee, Longstreet, A. P. Hill 
and Heth and Colonel Long and Major Venable." 

Longstreet made some objection, his idea being to move 
farther to the right and entice Meade to abandon his posi- 
tion and give battle on more favorable ground ; but the attack 
was ordered nevertheless and Longstreet was directed to carry 

The Pettigrevv-Pickett Charge. 139 

it into execution. The object of General Lee was to pene- 
trate Meade's line in the depression on the south of Cemetery 
Hill and thus turning his position, move up and dispossess 

When the morning broke and the Federal forces beheld so 
great an armament as one hundred and forty pieces of artil- 
lery in position on the crest of Seminary Ridge, they knew 
that an assault was intended on some part of their line and 
every preparation was at once made to receive it. 

The batteries on Cemetery Ridge were strengthened by 
new ones from the reserve, and soon eighty pieces of artillery 
were in readiness to respond to the expected cannonade which 
was awaited with increasing solicitude as the morning wore 
on in ominous silence. 

In early morning Pickett's fresh division had arrived and 
two of his brigades had been placed under cover of the ad- 
vanced ridge which CVolonel Alexander had seized the night 
before. Armistead's Brigade lay back protected by the main 
ridge in a line with Heth's Division, while the North Caro- 
lina brigades of Scales and Lane were still further in the 
rear. These were the troops selected to make the assault: 
Pickett's Division being fresh, and Heth's Division, com- 
manded by Pettigrew, and Lane's and Scales' Brigades, al- 
though badly cut up on the first, not having been engaged on 
the second, and being troops of the highest re]^utation for 
constancy and endurance. 

In Heth's Division were Archer's Brigade, composed of 
two Alabama and three Tennessee Regiments; Pettigrew's 
Brigade, which had present the Eleventh, Twenty-sixth, For- 
ty-seventh and Fifty-second ISTorth Carolina Regiments ; 
Davis' Brigade constituted of three Mississippi and one 
jSTorth Carolina Regiment, and Brockenborough's or Field's 
Brigade, which was composed entirely of Virginians. Petti- 
grew's Brigade was commanded by Colonel ]\Iarshnll, Gen- 
eral Pettigrew being in command of the division. 

Lane's Brigade was formed of the Seventh, Eighteenth, 
Twenty-eighth, Thirty-third and Thirty-seventh ISForth Car- 
olina Regiments, and in Scales', then under Colonel Low- 
rance, were the Thirteenth, Sixteenth, Twenty-second, 

140 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

Thirty-fourth and Thirty-eighth North Carolina Regiments. 
These troojjs had suffered so severely on 1 July that many 
companies were mere skeletons and some regiments were com- 
manded by Captains. 

Pickett's Division, composed entirely of Virginians, had 
just arrived and was in excellent condition in all respects. 

The movement was in double column, the first line con- 
sisting of Kemper's and Garnett's Brigades on the right, with 
Heth's Division (under Pettigrew) on the left; and for the 
second line Armistead in the rear 'of Pickett's other brigades, 
and Scales' and Lane's Brigades of North Carolinians, under 
General Trimble, in the rear of Heth's division. 

Wilcox's and Perry's Brigades were to move out on the ex- 
treme right and protect the column from any flanking force, 
while P. li. Anderson's Division covering the left, was to be 
in readiness to act as opportunity should permit. Prelimi- 
nary to the movement, the artillery was to silence the enemy's 
guns and as far as possible demoralize their infantry before 
the attem])t should be made to carry the works by storm. 

At 1 o'clock two guns were discharged by the Washington 
Artillery as the signal for the cannonade to begin. Imme- 
diately the line of batteries o]iened with salvos of artillery 
evoking a ({uiek reply from the enemy, and the engagement 
soon Ijecame one of the most terrific bombardments of the 
war. Its fury was inconceivable. "From ridge to ridge 
was kept up for near two hours a Titanic combat of artillery 
that caused the solid fabric of the hills to labor and shake, 
and filled the air with fire and smoke and the mad clamor of 
two hundred guns." The exi^osed batteries were greatly 
damaged. Both horses and men suffered fearful destruc- 
tion. Caissons exploded, limbers were blown up and guns 
wei'c crippled on every side. In ]iarticular was the Confed- 
erate fire, concentrated on the point of attack, very effective. 
But still the enemy's batteries were not silenced. Their fire 
did not slacken, for as fast as the Federal batteries expended 
their ammunition, they were replaced by new ones from the 
reserve, and the fire continued without abatement, until at 
length the Confederate ammunition began to run low. 

Colonel Alexander, to whom had been committed the duty 

The Pettigrew-Pickett Charge. 141 

of indicating- the moment for beginning the charge, felt the 
awfnl responsibility of the dilemma that presented itself, 
and hurriedly cominnnicated to Pickett that he should wait 
no longer, but should begin the movement at once, notwith- 
standing the terrific energy of the artillery that crowned the 
enemy's stronghold. But if the Confederate chests had been 
deplete*!, so at last had become those of their antagonists, and 
General Hunt, Meade's chief of artillery, finding it unsafe 
to move \^\) new supplies, and anticipating that the assault 
would be made on the center, conceived it well to husband 
his resources and ordered the fire to slacken, and so, unex- 
pectedly, the embarrassing difficulty of the Confederate sit- 
uation vanished. 

Immediately the order to advance was given along the 
whole line, and some twelve thousand veterans, with alacrity 
and high elation, moved forward over the crests that had 
sheltered tlieni, and passed down the slopes of Seminary 
Ridge, their bright guns gleaming in the noonday sun and 
their innmnerable battle flags flying in the breeze, making as 
fine a pageant as was ever seen on any field of battle. They 
moved in quick time and with admirable precision, as if on 
some gala day parade. It was a glorious spectacle, evoking 
admiration from foe and friend alike, and being the theme of 
unstinted praise from every one who witnessed it. 

But hardly had the line reached the downward slope of 
that extensive valley when the Federal batteries Avere again 
unloosed and the carnival of death began. 

"Though stormed at with shot and shell, it moved steadily 
on and even when grape and canister and musket balls began 
to rain upon it, the gaps were quickly closed and the align- 
ment preserved." 

The line of grey, a full mile in length, Avith its second 
line following at easy distance, marched indeed in fine style 
down that valley of death, reckless of peril and animated 
with that soldierly zeal and confidence which ever inspired the 
troops of Lee when moving in the immediate presence of that 
trusted commander. 

From Pickett's advanced position down the valley the 
clump of trees which gave him direction bore far to the left, 

142 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

and soon reaching the ridge on which the Turnpike ran, he 
wheeled to the left and moved up towards Cordori's House. 
By this movement he presented his ilank to the batteries 
posted on Little Round Top and received a severe enfilading 
fire, while General Stannard, whose division was in his imme- 
diate front, threw out tw^o Vermont regiments to contest the 
ground with him. But Colonel Alexander had himself 
hastily followed with a battery of artillery and opened on 
this force with spirit, in a measure dispersing it and neutral- 
izing its power for serious work. But still it could not be 
entirely driven off, and when Kemper, on the extreme right, 
having passed to the east of Cordori's house, moved by the 
left flank to close up with Garrett's Brigade, the Vermonters 
also moved by the flank to keep pace with him, and continued 
to annoy him. As the line advanced there loomed up in the 
distance the works it was to assault. 

Immediately in front of Archer's Brigade and Pickett's 
left lay the projecting stone wall standing out into the valley, 
and held by "Webb's Brigade of Gibbon's Division ; and op- 
posite the Confederate left was the retired wall held by Hays' 
Division, with Smyth's Brigade towards the cemetery and 
Sherrill's Brigade between that and Webb. This part of 
the wall was eighty yards behind the front of the projection 
held by Webb. 

South of the projection Hall's and Harrow's Brigades con- 
tinued the Federal line, behind breastworks of rails covered 
with earth and with rifle pits and shallow trenches in their 
front. Further on were Stannard's and other brigades of Dou- 
bleday's Division. On the crest of the hill, a few yards behind 
the line of works, was thickly massed the artillery. Skirmish- 
ers lay out several hundred yards in front in the clover and 
grass, while a first line of infantry held a strong fence along 
the pike in front of Hays and a low stone wall further down 
the valley, and lay concealed in the grass in the intervening 
space. At the stone wall and breastworks was a second line 
in readiness to receive the attack, while behind the artillery, 
some thirty paces off, was still another, occupying higher 
ground and protected by the backbone of the ridge, and 

The Pettigrew-Pickett Charge. 143 

further on the flanks were heavy masses of infantry ready to 
be concentrated if occasion required. 

As the Confederate line moved forward, in constant sight, 
momentarily drawing nearer to the point of attack, all was 
expectation and anxiety along the Federal front. The heavy 
artillery fire of the Confederates had ceased and the demoral- 
ization incident to it rapidly gave place to a feeling of reas- 
surance and determination. While it had destroyed the 
two batteries in the rear of We])l), leaving only one piece that 
could be worked, the guns in rear of Hay's division were in 
better condition, and Howard's fresh battery had been 
brought up and posted on the slope of Cemetery Hill. And so 
it happened that while the troops on the Confederate right 
were fortunately not subjected to an artillery fire from the 
front and were exposed only to an enfilading fire from the ex- 
treme left of the Federal line, it was far different with Pet- 
tigrew's command, the batteries in his front being well served, 
firing first solid shot, then shell and spherical case — and at 
last canister — double charged, as Pettigrew's line drew nearer 
and nearer. 

The movement of the Confederates was made in quick 
time over a clear field, beneath the burning rays of a fiery 
July sun, and was attended with considerable fatigue and ex- 
haustion. But those veterans who had been trained to the 
vicissitudes of war well knew that at the final assault, dash 
and vigor would be necessary, and they therefore husbanded 
their strength and moved forward steadily and resolutely un- 
der the galling fire that was rapidly thinning their ranks. 
Speaking of the troops in front of Hay's Division, General 
Bachelder says that when they had reached a position "half 
way across the plain they encountered a terrible artillery fire, 
but against wbicb, as a man })resses against a blinding storm, 
they moved steadily on as if impelled by a will greater than 
their own — some mighty unseen power which they could not 

"Solid shot ploughed through their ranks, spherical case 
rattled in their midst and canister swept them by hundreds 
from the field, yet on they pressed unflinchingly. 

It was an awful experience to pass nearly a mile across an 

144 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

open plain siibjected to such a terrible fire, with no hope of 
protection and without power to resist. But each brave 
spirit in Pettigrew's command recognized the necessity of 
immolation if need be, and offered himself a willing sacrifice ; 
and so closing up the great gaps in its ranks, the lines on the 
left continued to face the furious storm and silently moved 
on upon the deadly batteries. 

At length having made two-thirds of the distance, and 
being only three Inindred yards away, Pickett's troops with 
Garnett in front, Kemper on the right, l)ut somewhat in rear, 
and Armistead a hundred yards behind, turned towards the 
point they were to assail. On Garnett's left was Archer's 
Brigade, under Colonel Fry, whose numbers had been largely 
reduced in the first day's fight — and which had moved 
directly forward as tlije brigade of direction. Close joined 
with it were Pettigrew's Xorth Carolinians under Colonel 
Marshall, Pettigrew himself being in command of the divis- 
ion ; and further on were Davis' Mississippi ans and Brock- 
enborough's Virginia Brigade, all Avell aligned, while a hun- 
dred and fifty yards behind Trimble led Lane's and Scales' 
Brigades, the latter under Colonel Lowrance, Scales having 
been severely wounded two days before. 

Although the right had not suffered greatly during its 
shorter progress up the valley and being somewhat protected 
by favoring ridges, heavy loss had been inflicted on the center 
and on the left, which w^ere fearfully cut up during their long 
and exposed march. But though sorely distressed on front 
and flank, with ranks largely depleted, the left brigades main- 
tained their original alignment and still pursued their on- 
ward course. 

As the attacking column, now uuu'h narrowed, moved up 
the slope that formed a natural glacis to the enemy's works, 
the batteries opened still more rapidly with grape and canis- 
ter, and the front line of the enemy that lay in advance, to- 
gether with the second line at the stone wall, poured into the 
Confederate column volley after volley of musketry — sending 
out a perfect sheet of lead and iron — a storm of murderous 
fire. The ranks of the first Confederate line, in the immediate 
front of Hays' artillery, were mowed down as grass by the 

The Pettigrbw-Pickett Charge. 



The first positions of the Confederate brigades are shown on the left 
and then two subsequent intermediate positions, while the final posi- 
tion attained is marked : by the tliin line in front of the stone wall and 
within Gibbon's line on the south of it. 

Webb's position in the angle is marked W. Hall's and Harrow's bri- 
gades continued the Federal line towards Stannard's brigade. 


14G North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

scytlie. The carnage was terrible. The piercing cries of 
the dying and wounded conld be heard over the field amid 
the shrieks of shells and the roar of the cannon. Trimble, 
in command of the two North Carolina Brigades, says of 
Heth's Division, "that it seemed to sink into the earth under 
the tempest of fire poured into them." 

"We passed over the remnant of their line and immedi- 
ately some one close to my left sung out, 'Three cheers for the 
Old North State,' when both brigades sent up a hearty shout." 
It was the cry of l)rave men rushing into the jaws of death. 

So furious A\'a^ the fire and so murderous that it staggered 
the line — which ''halted, returned the fire and with a wild 
yell dashed oii." The first line of the enemy, wdiich lay a 
hundred yards in front, was thrown back against the wall, 
many being captured and hurried to the rear without guard. 
But yet the roar and din of the conflict continued and, though 
the smoke of battle obscured the front, the carnage went on 
as the columns drew closer and closer to the enemy's works. 
A front that had been originally more than a mile in length 
had now been compressed into less than eight hundred yards 
and the concentrated fire of the enemy's artillery, as w^ell as 
musketry, from the flanks as well as f r(jm the front, told with 
fearful effect. 

As the line approached the enemy's works, Pettigrew see- 
ing Brockenborough's Virginia Brigade and Davis Mississip- 
pians give way under the murderous fire that assailed them, 
hurried his aid, Captain Shepard, to rally them — but all of 
Captain Shepard's efforts were without avail. They had be- 
come separated some distance from Pettigrew's North Caro- 
lina Brigade and lacked the support imparted by the immedi- 
ate co-operation of other troops. They could not be rallied, 
but broke and fell back at the critical moment of the ordeal. 
It was then that Trimble ordered his North Carolina Bri- 
gades to close up on the first column, and Lane bearing to the 
left, with well aligned ranks and in handsome style, covered 
the position made vacant on the left by the broken brigades, 
while Lowrance led Scales' brigade directly forward to unite 
with the front line then one hundred yards in advance. 

In this hasty movement of Lane's, however, because of a 

The Pettigrew-Pickett Charge. 147 

niisimderstandiiig as to whether the guide was right or left, 
the Seventh iS^orth Carolina and a part of the Thirty -third, 
[being on Lane's right, became separated from the larger part 
of the brigade, which continued its movement well to the left, 
leaving some si)ace intervening between it and Pettigrew's 

The position of the troops just before the final charge was : 
Pickett's line was in front of a part of the projecting wall, 
with Kemper's Brigade extending to the right of it, covering 
the front of the Federal brigades of Hall and Harrow. Arch- 
er's Brigade was in front of the rest of the projection, and 
along witb Pettigrew's North Carolina Brigade extended in 
front of the retired wall, with Scales' Brigade coming up in 
the rear, wdiile Lane, with nearly four regiments, was some 
distance to the left. 

On the right Pickett's confmand had crossed the pike, while 
the line further to the left had yet to pass it. General Pick- 
ett and staff, however, did not cross the pike and did not ac- 
company the troops further in the charge. 

As the troops in their progress reached the fences enclos- 
ing this road, the obstruction tended greatly to break up their 
alignment. Many were killed and wounded there and others 
sought protection from the fearful iire by lying in the road. 
The column advancing beyond the pike was thus consider- 
ables' weakened, and especially was this the ease on the cen- 
ter and left where the road ran closer to the stone wall and 
was stoutly held by the front line of the enemy. Pickett's 
troops, however, crossing at a ]ioint nearly a quarter of a mile 
distant from the enemy's works, escaped the full effect of this 
damaging obstacle and maintained a more perfect organiza- 
tion. And in like manner, the right of the Confederate 
column had the good fortune of not being subjected to a simi- 
lar artillery fire to that which mowed down the ranks of Pet- 
tigrew's command. 

It is narrated by General Doubleday that all of the artil- 
lery sup])orting Webb's brigade, being destroyed except one 
piece in Cushing's Battery which was in rear of Webb's right, 
and nearly all of the artillerymen being either killed or 
wounded, as the Confederates came close, Cushing, himself 

148 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

mortally wounded, with his bowels protruding, exclaimed, 
"Webb, I must have one more shot at them," and caused his 
piece to be run down to the stone wall and fired, immediately 
expiring. This incident not only illustrates how Pickett's 
Division during its advance fortunately escaped the artillery 
fire that Avas so efl^ective against Pettigrew's troops, but ac- 
counts for the presence of a gun at the angle where Major 
Englehard subsequently found it. A few moments later a 
fresh battery reached Webb's left and opened a murderous 
fire on Pickett's charging column. Colonel Peyton, Avho 
came out of the fight in command of Garnett's brigade, in his 
official report, speaks of having routed the advanced line of 
the Federal infantry a hundred yards in front of the stone 
wall, and says: 

"Up to this tiuie we had suffered but little from the en^ 
emy's l)atteries with the exception of one posted on the moun^ 
tain about one mile to our right, which enfiladed nearly owt 
entire line with fearful efi"ect. Having routed the enemy 
here. General Garnett ordered the brigade forward, which 
was promptly obeyed, loading and firing as they advanced. 
From the point it had first routed the enemy, the brigade 
moved rapidly forward towards the stone wall, under a gall- 
ing fire, both from artillery and infantry, the artillery using 
grape and canister. W^e were now within about seventy-five 
paces of the wall, unsupported on the right and left ; General 
Kemper being some fifty or sixty yards behind and to the 
right, and General Armistead coming up in our rear. 

Our line, much shattered, still kept up the advance until 
within about tw^enty paces of the wall, when for a moment 
they recoiled under the terrific fire poured into our ranks, 
both from their batteries and from their sheltered infantry. 
x\t this moment General Kemper came up on the right and 
General Armistead in the rear, when the three lines joining 
in concert rushed forward. His strongest and last line was 
instantly gained, the Confederate battle flag waved over his 
defenses and the fighting over the wall became hand-to-hand 
and of the most desperate character, but more than half 
having already fallen, our line was found too weak to rout 
the enemy. We hoped for a support on our left (which had 

The Pettigrew-Pickett Charge. 149 

Btarted simultaneoTislj with ourselves), but hoped in vain. 
Yet a small remnant remained in desperate struggle, receiv- 
ing a fire in front, on the right and, on the left many even 
climbing over the wall and fighting the enemy in his own 
trenches, until entirely surrounded, and those who were not 
killed and wounded were captured, with the exception of 
about 300 who came oft" slowly, but greatly scattered — the 
identity of every regiment being entirely lost, every regimen- 
tal commander killed or wounded." 

We have no official report from either Armistead's or Kem- 
per's brigades. The latter was on the extreme right, extend- 
ing south of the stone wall and in its advance suffered greatly 
from the flanking fire of tbe two Vermont Regiments thrown 
out by General Stannard against it. A Federal account says: 
'^The Confederate line is almost up to the grove in front of 
Robinson's. It has reached the clump of scrub oaks. It has 
drifted past the Vermont boys. Tbey move upon the run up 
to the breastworks of rails, bearing ITancock's line to the top 
of the ridge — so ])0werful their momentum. 

Men fire into each other's faces not five feet apart. There 
are bayonet thrusts, sabre strokes, pistol shots, cool, deliber- 
ate movements on the part of some ; hot, passionate, desper- 
ate efforts on the part of others ; hand-to-hand contests ; reck- 
lessness of life, tenacity of purpose, fiery determination, 
oaths, yells, curses, hurrahs, shoutings. The Confederates 
have swept past the Vermont regiments. 'Take them on the 
flank,' says Stannard. The Thirteenth and Sixteenth Ver- 
mont swing ont from their trench line. They move forward 
and pour a deadly volley into the backs of Kemper's troops. 
With a hurrah they rush on to drive home the bayonets. Other 
regiments close upon the foe. The Confederate column has 
lost its power. The lines waver. * * Thousands of Con- 
federates throw down their arms and give themselves up as 

Another Federal account of Kemper's attack says — "up to 
the rifle pits, across them, over the barricades — tbe momen- 
tum of the charge swept them on. 

''Onr thin line could fight, bnt it had not weight enough 
to resist this momentum. It was pushed behind the guns. 

150 North Carolina Troops, i861-'65. 

Tliglit on caine the enemy. They Avere upon the guns — were 
bayonetting the gunners — were waving their flags above our 
pieces. But they had penetrated to the fatal point. A storm 
of grape and canister tore its way from man to man and 
marked its way with corpses straight down its line. They 
had exposed themselves to the enfilading fire of the guns on 
the western slope of Cemetery Hill. That exposure sealed 
their fate. 

''The line reeled back, disjointed already, in an instant in 
fragments. Our men were just behind the guns. They 
leaped forward in a disordered mass. But there was little 
need of fighting noAv. A regiment thrcAv down its arms and 
Avith colors at its head, rushed over and surrendered. All 
along the field detachments did the same. Over the field the 
escaped fragments of the charging line fell back— the battle 
there Avas over. A single brigade, HarroAv's, came out with 
a loss of 54 officers and 793 men. So the Avhole corps fought 
— so too they fought further down the line." 

Colonel Fry, Avho so gallantly led Archer's Brigade, says: 
"I heard Garnett giA^e a command. Seeing my gesture of 
enquiry he called out, 'I am dressing on you !' A fcAV seconds 
later he fell dead. A moment later a shot through my thigh 
prostrated me. The smoke soon became so dense that I could 
see luit little of Avhat Avas going on before me. A moment 
later I heard General Pettigrew calling to rally them on the 
left. All of the five regimental colors of my command 
readied the line of the enemy's Avorks and many of my men 
and officers were killed after passing over it." Colonel Shep- 
herd. Avho succeeded Frye in command, said in his official re- 
port that "every flag in Archer's Brigade except one was cap- 
tured at or Avithin the Avorks of the enemy." 

Scales' Brigade closely folloAved Archer's, dashed up to 
the projecting Avail and planted their battle flags u]ion the 
enemy's breastv/orks. PettigrcAv's and the left of Archer's 
had surged forAvard beyond the projecting Avail, and had 
firmly established themselves along the retired portion of the 
Avail. General Baehelder, of the Federal army, Avho thor- 
oughly studied the field for days after the battle, than Avhom 
no one kncAv so Avell the details of that affair, saA^s: 'The 

The Pettigrew-Pickett Charge. 151 

left of the column continued to move on towards the second 
wall, threatening the right and rear of Gibbon's Division 
which held the advanced line. General Webb, whose bri- 
gade was on the right (in the projection), had hurried back 
to bring up his right reserve regiment from the second line. 
But before this could be accomplished the first line broke un- 
der the tremendous pressure which threatened its front and 
flank, and fell back upon the reserve." 

Thus while Garnett was struggling for the possession of 
the stone wall on the Confederate right, and Kemper was en- 
gaged with Harrow^ and Hall still further to the right, seek- 
ing unsuccessfully to penetrate into the enemy's line and 
turn the left of the hill, the advance of Pettigrew's command 
beyond the projecting wall, taking Webb's exposed brigade 
on the riglit flank, caused it to give back from the wall and 
yield that part of the projection to the regiments of Archer 
and Scales that pressed them in front. 

Captain JMcIntyre, acting Adjutant-General of Scales' Bri- 
gade, says: ''^ly brigade, or a larger part of it, went inside 
of the enemy's works." 

Captain Guerrant, acting as Brigade Inspector, says that 
"Scales' Brigade entered the breastworks and remained in 
possession until driven out by the enemy's advancing on their 
flanks." Major Engelhard, the gallant Adjutant-General of 
the two brigades of Pender's Division commanded by Trim- 
ble, says : "The point at which the troops with me struck the 
enemy's Avorks projected farthest to the front. T recollect 
well, my horse having been shot, I leaned my elbow upon 
one of the guns of the enemy to rest, while I watched with 
painful anxiety the fight upon Pickett's right, for upon its 
success depended the tenableness of our position. 

''Surrounding me were the soldiers of Pender's, Heth's 
and Pickett's Divisions and it required all the resources at 
ray conimand to prevent their following en masse the retreat- 
ing enemy, and some did go so far that when we were com- 
pelled to withdraw, they were unable to reach our lines, the 
enemy closing in from the right and left. We remained in 
quiet and undisputed possession of the enemy's works, the 
men flushed Avith victory, eager to press forward. 

152 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

"But when the right of Pickett's Division was compelled 
iby the overpo^vering attack upon its right flank to give way, 
there was nothing left for us to do hut surrender ourselves 
prisoners or withdraw in confusion before the converging 
lines of the enemy, those in our immediate front not having 

The retired wall in front of Fettigrew's North Carolina 
Brigade "was higher and stronger than at the projection and 
along it skirted a lane enclosed by a strong fence. 

Hays' Division clung to the wall with great pertinacity and 
the second line, })rotected by the high crest of the ridge, com- 
manded it completely, while Howard's fresh artillery on the 
sloi)e of Cemetery Hill swept the front with an enfilading 
fire. But while it was impracticable for any troops to carry 
it by assault, the Confederate line much weakened by the 
losses suffered in the march, silenced the batteries in their 
front and suppressed the infantry fire from the wall, and 
maintained the unequal contest there to the last. 

Some of Pettigrew's North Carolinians advanced to the 
wall itself, doing all that splendid valor and heroic endur- 
ance could do to dislodge the enemy — but their heroism was 
in vain. 

Majo'- Jones, in command of Pettigrew's Brigade, says: 
"On we pushed and were now right on the enemy's works, 
wlien we recei^'cd a murderous fire upon our left flank. I 
looked to see where it came from and lo ! we were completely 
flanked upon our left not only by infantry, but artillery. 
One of our brigades had given way. The enemy had seized 
upon the gap and now poured a galling fire into our troops, 
forcing them to give way in succession to the right. The 
color-bearer of the Twenty-sixth North Carolina Regiment 
was shot down while attempting to plant the flag on the wall." 
Gaston Broughton, commanding Company D, Twenty-sixth 
North Carolina Begiment, says: "We crossed the road and 
went to the enemy's works, where we continued firing until 
most of the regiment were ca|)tured, the enemy closing in on 
us from our rear." Lieutenant W. N. Snelling, Company B, 
of the same regiment, says: "We went to an old road some 
ten sto])s from the rock fence behind which was the enemv." 

The Pettigrew-Pickett Charge. 153 

Major Haynes, of the Eleventh North Carolina : "I was 
about fifty yards (I think nearer) of the wall when I was 
shot down. When shot we were in line going towards the 
cemeter}' wall. We were all cut down — no one but wounded 
left in my company, save two." 

Captain J. J. Davis (since Judge) : "My company was 
next to the extreme left of the regiment, Forty-seventh l^orth 
Carolina Kegiment, and when not far from the enemy's 
works, say not more than 100 yards, a sergeant of an adjoin- 
ing regiment called my attention to the fact that the troops to 
the left had given away. I looked and saw that at some dis- 
tance to the left, the troops had given way, but our supports 
were then advancing in admirable style. (Lane's Brigade.) 
Colonel Graves, who was to the right of me, had kept the reg- 
iment well in hand and was urging the men on." "And we ad- 
vanced," says Captain Davis, "to the plank fence that ran 
alongside the lane just under the stone wall." Here he and 
part of his regiment were afterwards captured. 

Lieutenant-Colonel B. F. Little, of the Fifty-second 
iS^orth Carolina Kegiment: "I was shot down when in about 
fifty yards of the enemy's works, and the ground between 
where I lay and the works was thickly strewn with killed and 
wounded, some of them having fallen immediately at the 
works. I do not think a single one of my men ever got back 
to the rear except those who were slightly wounded before 
they got to the place where I w^as wounded. And such was 
the case with the companies on either side of mine. When 
T was taken prisoner and borne to the rear, I passed over 
their works and found some of my men killed and wounded 
immediately at their works." 

It is of Pettigrew's Brigade that Colonel Swallow writes 
as follows : "Pettigrew's Brigade now united with Archer's 
Regiment wliich had not entered the fortifications and at- 
tacked the enemy with the most desperate determination. 
While the writer (Colonel Swallow) lay wounded with Gen- 
eral Smyth, of Hays' Division, at Gettysburg, that officer 
told him that Pettigrew's Brigade all along his front were 
within thii-ty or forty feet of his line and fought with a de- 
termination he liad never seen equalled." This encomium. 

154 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

so richly merited, is, however, to be shared by Lane's Bri- 
gade equally with Pettigrew's, for Smyth's front was the ex- 
treme left where l.ane fought as well as Pettigrew's Brigade. 

While snch Avas the position of affairs on the right and 
center when the smoke of battle lifted somewhat, Brocken- 
borough's Virginians and Davis' Mississippians not having 
rallied from the deadly discharge that had hurled them back, 
Lane's ^orth Carolinians were alone on the left and bore the 
brunt of the conflict on that part of the field. In his report 
Lane says : 

''My command never moved forward more handsomely. 
The men reserved their fire in accordance with orders until 
within good range of the enemy and then opened with telling 
effect, driving the cannoneers from their pieces, completely 
silencing the guns in our immediate front and breaking the 
line of infantry on the crest of the hill. 

"We advanced to within a few yards of the stone wall, ex- 
l^osed all the while to a heavy raking artillery fire from the 
right. My left w;is here very much exposed, and a column of 
infantry was throAvn forward in that direction that enfiladed 
my entire line." 

This was a column of regiments that was thrown forward 
from Hay's right : and despite an enfilading artillery fire, 
Lane broke off' a regiment from his left to face this threat- 
ened danger. 

Captain Lovell, Company A, Twenty-eighth N'orth Caro- 
lina, Lane's Brigade, says: "Some of my men were wounded 
and captured inside the works." 

Captain Norwood, Company E, Forty-seventh North Caro- 
lina, says that regiment, along with the brigade, advanced to 
within thirty yards of the enemy's works, where they encoun- 
tered a plank fence. Several officers, myself among them, 
sprung over the fence, followed by the whole command so far 
as T know. The cannoneers then left their pieces." 

Lieutenant-Colonel Morriss, of the Thirty-seventh N'orth 
Carolina, says: "T^ettigrew's and Archer's men reached 
the enemy's works a little in advance of us and succeeded in 
driving the enemy from their works in their front, but were 
exposed to a flank fire both right and left. We drove the en- 

The Pettigrew-Pickett Charge. 155 

emy from his position on the road and from behind the stone 
fence. The enemy having disappeared from onr front, we 
became engaged with a flanking party on onr left and were 
surronnded and captured. Six officers on the right of my 
regiment were wounded in the enemy's works and captured." 

The brave Major Jos. H. Saunders, of the Thirty-third, 
says : "1 went, by a subsequent measurement, to within 
sixty yards of the stone wall, where I was wounded. Just 
before 1 was shot I saw a Federal color-bearer just in front 
of the left wing of tlie regiment, get up and run waving his 
flag and followed by his regiment, so that there was nothing 
to keep our regiment from going right into the enemy's works. 
I Avas shot by the troops on our left flank. At the time I was 
acting as left gnide to the line of battle, directing the line of 
march more to the right so as to strike the enemy's works in a 
straighter line." 

Rev. Dr. George W. Sanderlin, who was (Captain of Com- 
pany E, Thirty-third iS^orth Carolina, says: ''Our bri- 
gade being in the second line, advanced in fine style over the 
field. When we were about two hundred yards from the en- 
emy's works. General Lane ordered a half wheel to the left 
and Ave continued our advance, our organization being excel- 
lently preserved, close up to the enemy's Avork. We were 
subjected to a rapid artillery fire from our front as Avell as a 
deadly musketry fire, and also an enfilading artillery fire 
from the loft. My regiment, the Thirty-third l^orth Caro- 
lina, rested at the enemy's works, the artillerymen being 
driven aAvay from their pieces and the infantry having been 
driA'en from their breastAvorks. For some five minutes all 
Avas comparatively quiet in our front except a desultory ^I'ing 
here and there. We could hear the Federal officers just over 
the ridne trving to rally and reform their men. Attention 
was called to a piece of artillery just at hand Avliich had been 
struck in the muzzle b\' a shell from a gun of like calibre from 
a Confederate battery, Avhich remained fastened in the bore. 
W^e noticed the situation on the extreme right of the line and 
finally saAv it driA^en off by the enemy. A coh;mn had been 
thrown out on the enemy's right that flanked us. We, being 
in danger of being cut off, Avere ordered back, Pickett's troops 

156 North Carolkna Troops, 1861-'65. 

on our right having in the meantime been repulsed. Just 
then the enemy opened on us a most heavy and destructive 
fire, and as \ve began to retreat the enemy in our front rallied 
and rushed down, crossing their breastworks, attacking us 
also on our right. Our line on the extreme right (Pickett's) 
had given away before this, and we made the best retreat we 
could. Our organization was well ju-eserved up to the time 
we retreated. I am absolutely confident that Lane's Brigade 
held its position at the enemy's w^orks longer than any other 
command, and that we did not move towards the rear until 
the rest of the line was in full retreat, the extreme right being 
well advanced to the rear." 

Tlie Seventh North Carolina and that i:)art of the Thirty- 
thii'd which became separated from the rest of Lane's Bri- 
gade uioved forward gallantly, drove the enemy from the 
stone wall, silenced the guns in their front and lost ofiicers 
and men at the stone wall, many being captured there. 

Tn the brief minutes that had elapsed since the final rush 
on the enemy's works had begnn the carnage had indeed been 
terrific. Garnett had fallen near the wall. Kemper was 
desperately wounded at the wall. Pettigrew was disabled by 
a ball. Trimble was knocked hors du combat. Fry, Mar- 
shall and Lowrance had fallen among the thousands of ofiicers 
and men whose life-blood was ebbing on that bloody field. 

But if the Confederates had suffered fearfully, they had 
also inflicted heavy loss upon their opponents. "Hancock 
lay bleeding upon the ground, Gibbon was being taken from 
the field wounded. Webb had been hit. Sherrill and Smyth 
both wounded, the former mortally. Stannard had received 
a painful wound, but liis troops continued to pour volley 
after volley into Pickett's flanks." 

When the front line of Webb's Brigade gave way under the 
pressure of Pettigrew's men on the flank, they had fallen 
back, some to the cover of a chuup of trees in the rear and 
others to a stone wall that crossed the ridge. From these 
points they maintained a desultory firing upon the Confeder- 
ates, who having possession of the wall now used it as a pro- 
tection for themselves. The projection was practically 
cleared, but, though Archer's and Scales' and Pickett's men 

The Pettigrew-Pickett Charge. 157 

held the angle next to Pettigrew, there was no general effort 
made to penetrate into the enemy's line. In the meantime 
regiment after regiment had hurried to cover the break in the 
Federal line nntil the men stood four deep, ready to hurl back 
the Confederates if they should seek to advance. Such was 
the condition of comparative repose when Armistead's Bri- 
gade reached the wall in Garnett's rear. 

"Seeing his men were inclined to use it as a defence, as the 
front line were doing," Armistead raised his hat upon his 
sword, and springing upon a broken place in the wall, called 
on his men to follow him. Nearly one hundred of the gallant 
Fifty-third Virginia, led by Colonel Martin and Major Tim- 
berlake, responded with alacrity and entered the works, "only 
four of whom advanced with these officers to the crest, pass- 
ing, as they advanced. General Webb, who was returning to 
his front line." Armistead there received his mortal blow, 
and forty-two of his men fell within the works as the enemy 
rushed forward to recover the position. It was the work of 
brief moments, for as the pressure on the Federal line had 
been sharp the recoil was quick and decisive. 

On the right Xemj^er had been driven back, and the battle 
having now ceased in front of Hall's and Harrow's Brigades, 
these were hurriedly advanced, at the moment the force col- 
lected in the rear of Webb rushed forward, taking Garnett 
and Armistead's troops in the flank as well as front, and en- 
tirely routing and dispersing them. 

As the right was hurled back and the fragments of General 
Pickett's Division were hurrying to the rear, the battle be- 
gan to rage more furiously on the left. The artillery swept 
the front occupied by Pettigrew's command and Hays' 
Division renewed the contest with increased ardor. A Dela- 
ware regiment on Smyth's left sprang over the wall and pene- 
trating the Confederate line opened a fire to the right and left 
and hurried the drama to its close. 

The remnants of Pettigrew's and Archer's and Scales' Bri- 
gades that could not escape, were taken prisoners by the victo- 
rious columns closing in on them from the rear, while most 
of ]^ane's Brigade further to the left had the better fortune 
rtf avoiding a like fate by a speedy retreat ; but they were the 

158 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

last to relinquish tlieir position in the immediate front of the 
enemy's works. As they withdrew they saw the field far 
down the valley dotted with squads of Pickett's broken regi- 
ments, while nearer were the fragments of the other com- 
mands in full retreat. Thus ended the events of those brief 
ten ininutes — tlie gallant charge — the successful planting of 
the Confederate standards along the entire line of the Federal 
works — the comparative lull, save on the right, where Kem- 
j^er made his fierce entrance into the enemy's line, his speedy 
repulse — and the overwhelming rally of Hancock's forces, 
enveloping and dispersing Pickett's Division — the terrible 
onslaught on the left, and the dispersal of the last of that 
sjilendid body of twelve thousand picked troops who had es- 
sayed to do what was impossible of accomplishment. Con- 
spicuous gallantry had brought to the Confederate banner an 
accumulation of martial honor, but on no field was ever 
more devotion shown, more heroism, more nerve than on that 
day which has been justly considered the turning point in the 
tide of Confederate achievement. 

It was indeed a field of honor as well as a field of blood, 
and the sister States of Virginia and J^orth Carolina had 
equal cause to weave chaplets of laurel and of cypress. On 
their sons the heaviest blows fell, and to them is due the meed 
of highest praise. Archer's brave men doubtless suffered 
heavily, but the chief loss was borne by the three ISTorth Car- 
olina and the three Virginia Brigades that participated in 
the assault upon the A\'orks. 

The losses of the latter are easy of ascertainment — for they 
were fresh and bad been in no other conflict ; while the former 
having suffered heavily on the first day and having lost most 
of their regimental and company officers, made at the time 
no special return of the loss in this now celebrated charge. 

Lane carried in 1,300 and lost GOO, nearly all killed and 
wounded. Pettigrew's Brigade was about 1,700 strong, and 
lost 1,100, the greater part killed and wounded. Scales' Bri- 
gade suifered in the like proportion. These three brigades 
doubtless lost in killed and wounded 1,500 men. 

The three Virginia brigades numbering over 4,700 strong, 
lost 224 killed and 1,140 wounded, a total of 1,364. They 

The Pettigrew-Pickett Charge. 159 

had besides 1,499 missing. While the North Carolina bri- 
gades did not have so many captured as Pickett's troops, they 
doubtless suffered a heavier loss in killed and wounded, al- 
though they took into the fight a smaller force, and their or- 
ganization was much disturbed by the severe loss in regimen- 
tal and company officers in the battle of the first. But despite 
this drawback, they exliibited a heroism, a constancy and an 
endurance unsurpassed upon that field where they accom- 
plished as much as any other troops, suffered greater losses, 
advanced the farthest, and remained, the longest. Indeed it 
was to them a day of immortal glory as of mournful disaster. 

S. A. Ashe. 
Ralkigh, N. C, 

3 July, 1901. 



By E. K. BRYAN, Adjutant, and E. H. MEADOWS, Sergeant Co. K. 
Thirty-First N. C. Regiment. 

The following sketch has been prepared largely from report 
of Major Robert C Gilchrist, together with the personal rec- 
ollection of the writers, who were participants. 


Skirting along ship channel, the main entrance into 
Charleston harbor, and commanding the only approach for 
large vessels to the city, is Morris Island, forever prominent 
in the historv of the United States for beina- the site of the 
battery that fired the first shot in the war between the States ; 
still later for giving to the world its first lesson in iron-clad 
armor, and more than all, for being the theatre of a defence 
of an earthwork more stnbborn and grave, of a siege as mem- 
orable and bombardments the most formidable in the annals 
of war. 

This island is three and three-fourth miles long, and varies 
in width from twenty-five to one thousand yards. 

At its northern extremity it is flat, and with the exception 
of a low line of sand hills is only two feet above high tide. 

At the northern extremity (Cumming's Point) was situated 
Battery Gregg. The marsh on the west, at a point about three- 
fourths of a mile from Gregg e^ncroached upon the sea face of 
the island leaving a narrow strip of 250 yards. At this 
point was located the famed Fort Wagner. The island is 
composed of quartjz sand, which has no cohesion and weighs 
when dry 86 pounds per cubic foot. To its power in resisting 
the penetration of shot and when displaced of falling back 
again to the very spot it had occupied, is due the comparative 
invulnerability of the works erected on the island, advanta- 
geous alike to its defenders and assailants. It is distant from 

162 North Carolina Troops, lSf)l-'()5. 

Fort Sumpter 2,780 yards. Wagner was an enclosed Earth- 
work measuring within the interior slojDe froin east to west 
six hundred and thirty (630) feet, and from north to south 
in extreme width tAvo hundred and seventy-five (275) feet. 
The sea face measuring along the interior crest two hundred 
and ten (210) feet, contained a bomb-proof magazine, twenty 
by twenty feet, forming a heavy traverse to protect the three 
^ms north of it from the land fire. Behind the sea face was 
the bomb-proof, thirty by one hundred and thirty, within 
which could not l)e accommodated more than 900 men, 
standing elbow to elbow and face to back (not 1,500 to 1,600 
men, as General Gilmore said), and this capacity was further 
reduced by cutting off more than one-third for hospital pur- 

The Confederate force which had been doing such ardu- 
ous service, were no^v relieved by the Fifty-first Xorth Caro- 
lina Eegiment, 687 men under Colonel H. McKethan; detach- 
ments from Captains Buckner's and Dixon's companies of the 
Georgia artillery; Captains Tateni's and Adams' companies 
of First South Carolina artillery; one section of howitzers, 
DeSaussure Artillery, Captain DePass ; one section Blake 
Artillery, Lieutenant Waties ; Cliarleston Battalion, Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel P. C. Gaillard, and Thirty-first Regiment Xorth 
Carolina Troops; Brigadier-General William Taliaferro in 
command of the whole. 

ASSAULT OF 18 JULY^ 1863. 

About daylight on IS July, the Federal mortars com- 
inenced their practice which they kept up at intervals until 
noon. The new Ironsides, the monitors 3IontavJc, Catshill, 
NantucTiet, Weeliavl-en and Patapsco,, the gunboats Paul 
Jones, OUciiva, Seneca, Chippeva and Wissaliickon steamed 
in and took position abreast of Wagner. At 12 o'clock M., 
all the land and naval batteries opened a "feu d' enfer" upon 
the devoted work. For eight long hours it was as a continued 
reverberation of thunder, peal followed peal in rapid succes- 
sion. Nine thousand shells were hurled against Wagner 
— twenty each minute. It ceased only when darkness came 
on, as its further continuance Avould have involved the 

. Defence of Fort Wagner. 163 

slaughter of the assauking cohimn of the enemy, now mass- 
ing in cohimn in front of the fort. It now hecame evident 
that the assauh woukl be made at dark, so all the guns were 
loaded with dotihle charges of grape and canister, trained so 
as to sweep the beach about 500 to (300 yards in front. Thus 
the guns on the fort being pre])ared for the attack which was 
soon to come, paid no attention to the fleet, preferring to save 
their ammunition and tlieir range for the more deadly con- 
flict soon to ]>e enacted. Battery Gregg and Fort Surapter 
were made ready to fire over Wagiier on the advancing 
column, and the batteries on James Island to enfilade its 
face. General Hagood was ordered to be in readiness to sup- 
port or relieve General Taliaferro and proceeded to reinforce 
the garrison with the Thirty-second Georgia Regiment, Colo- 
nel Harrison. 

On the part of the Federals Brigadier-General Strong's 
Brigade was to lead the assault. It was composed of the Fif- 
ty-fourth Massachusetts Itegiment, Colonel Shav/; the Sixth 
Connecticut Regiment, Colonel J. L. Chatfield ; a battalion of 
the Seventh Connecticut Regiment, Colonel Barton; the 
Third ^N'ew Hampshire; the Forty-eighth ]^ew York Regi- 
ment, Colonel Jackson ; the Xinth Maine Regiment, Colonel 
Emery ; and the Seventy-sixth Pennsylvania Regiment, Col- 
onel Strawbridge, and was to be supported by Colonel Ptit- 
man's Brigade, composing his own Regiment (the Seventh 
Xew Hampshire), Lieutenant-Colonel Abbott; the One Hun- 
dredtla JSTew York Regiment, Colonel Dandy ; the Sixty-sec- 
ond Ohio Regiment, Colonel Pond : and the Sixty-seventh 
Ohio Regiment, Colonel Voris. Brigadier-General T. Sey- 
mour was to command the assaulting column and to arrange 
the details for attack. 

Some time before sunset these regiments were formed on 
the beach in rear of their batteries, in columns of eight com- 
panies, closed at half distance. The Sixth Connecticut Reg- 
iment was to lead and attack the southeast salient angle of 
Wagner. The Forty-eighth ]Srew York was to pass along the 
sea front and facing inward, to attack there ; the other regi- 
ments of the brigade to charge the south front, extending in- 
ward toward the marshes, on the left ; the Fifty-fourth Massa- 

164 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

chiisetts (colored), 1,000 strong, was in advance of all and to 
be the "enfans pe^^dus." Thej formed in two lines ahead of 
the brigade. Their commander was Colonel Robert G. Shaw. 
He was slender and under the medium height, with light hair, 
a beardless face, and looked like a boy of 17 years, when seen 
at daylight the morning after the assault, cold and stiff in 
death on the very tojj of our breastworks and at the muzzle of 
our best Columbiad with three mortal wounds, either of which 
must have been a death woimd, a bullet wound througli the 
forehead, another through the lower body, and a bayonet 
thrust in his chest. His Adjutant lay dead only three feet 
to his right, and his Sergeant Major about the same distance 
to his left. Had the supporting column of 6.000 came to the 
relief Wagner would have undoul)tedly fallen that night, 
but the dreadful slaughter of the assaulting column, their 
cries of agony and death so paralyzed them that they broke 
in gTcat disorder and fled to the rear. Colonel Shaw with 
his colored troops, led the attack. They came forward at a 
'^'double-quick" with great energy and resolution; but on ap- 
proaching the ditch they broke, the gi'eater part following 
their intrepid Colonel, bounded over the ditch, mounted the 
parapet and planted their flag in the most gallant manner 
upon the ramparts, where Shaw was shot and bayonetted to 
death ; while the rest seized with a furious panic acted like 
wild beasts let loose from a menagerie. They came down 
first on the Ninth Maine, and then on the Seventy-sixth Penn- 
sylvania, and broke them both in two. Portions of the Ninth 
and Seventy-sixth mingled with the fugitives of the Fifty- 
fourth (colored), and could not be brought to the front. The 
Sixth Connecticut (Colonel Chatfield) succeeded in passing 
through the deadly fire, and made a furious charge on the 
southeast angle and took it and held it for three hours, no sup- 
port having dared to follow across the fatal stretch before the 
fort. To retreat was worse than to advance. 

During the three hours that tliis portion of the works was 
held by Colonel Chatfield (it was on top of the bomb-proof 
about thirty feet above the heads of the defenders) several of 
our men were shot in the back, while standng ready to defend 
the fort from any other advance; when this became known, 

Defence of Fort Wagner. 165 

as it did in a few moments, General Taliaferro, in command 
of the fort, called to a Federal soldier on the bomb-proof and 
told him to say to his commanding officer that he wished to 
speak to him. In a moment an officer came to the edge of the 
bomb-proof, inquired what was wanted of him.. General 
Taliaferro said to him in substance: '"Your men have fired 
into the backs of my men from your position on the bomb- 
proof, and have wounded several. ^NTow what I wish to say 
is this : 'If another shot is fired into my men, I will put to 
death every officer and man I find up there. You are my 
prisoners. If you do not consider that you are, you Jiave my 
permission to make your escape, and not one man will be able 
to reach his lines.' " This quieted matters, and in a short 
time the Thirty-first Georgia Eegiment and two companies 
of the Charleston Battalion deployed along the western face, 
when the Sixth Connecticut surrendered. 

The assault was bravely made, but was doomed to failure 
from the onset. The demoralization of the negro troops at 
the supreme moment threw the ranks of the Federals into dis- 
order. The converging fire of the artillery and infantry on 
the narrow approach prevented a rally. Few could move 
within that fatal area and live. The situation of the works 
for])ade any feint or diversion, so that the garrison could con- 
centrate their attention on one point alone. Besides the in- 
creasing darkness rendered more dense by the smoke of con- 
flict, added to the confusion of the assailants, and helped the 
assailed, and thus the fortunes of war once more smiled on 
Fort Wagner, giving to the Confederates a complete victory 
and to the Federals an overwhelming defeat. 

Language has not the power to describe the horrors of the 
niglit of the assault. The shattered column of the enemy was 
driven back to the shelter of the sand hills. Four thousand 
men had been dashed against Fort Wagner ; when reformed 
within the Federal lines only 600 answered to their names. 
Brigadier-General Strong was mortally wounded and Colo- 
nels Chatfield, Putman and Shaw were left dead within our 
lines. A desnltnry fii-e oi small arms wiih an oceasi'inal dis- 
charge of grape and canister was kept up for a time at an 
unseen foe from the ramparts of Wagner. Soon silence and 

166 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

stillness reigned supreme, broken only by the moans of the 
wounded and dying, xit last the long night was ended and 
the sun of a peaceful Sabbath rose revealing the sickening 
scene. ''131ood, mud, water, brains and human hair matted 
together; men lying in every possible attitude, with every 
conceivable expression on their countenances ; their limbs 
bent into unnatural shapes by the fall of twenty or more feet, 
the fingers rigid and outstretched as if they had clutched at 
the earth to save themselves; pale, beseeching faces looking 
out from among the ghastly corpses, with moans and cries 
for hel}> and -water and dying gasps and death struggles. In 
the salient and on the ramparts they lay heaped and pent up, 
in some places, three deep. 

All of Sunday was employed in burying the dead. Eight 
hundred ^\-ere buried by the Confederates in front of Wag-ner. 
The wounded and dead more remote from Wagner were cared 
for by their friends. We took prisoners, including wounded 
and not wounded, about six hundred. 

For fifty-eight days Wagner and Gregg with a force never 
exceeding sixteen hundred men, had withstood a thoroughly 
equijjped army of eleven thousand five hundred men, the Iron- 
sides, eight monitors and five gunboats. For every pound of 
sand used in the construction or repair of Fort Wagner, its as- 
sailants had exploded two pounds of iron in the vain attempt 
to batter it down. At the end of the liombardment, as at the 
commencement, Wagner stood sullen, strong and defiant as 

Federal history calls the capture of Batterv Wagner a 
great victory. Victory? Seven hundred and forty men 
driven out of sand hills by eleven thousand five hundred. 
Ta\'o months in advancing half a mile towards Charleston, 
they made their boast that Sumpter was demolished over 
Wagner. This only teaches the world that sand batteries 
are more impregiiable than the most solid masonry, especially 
when men are behind them ^vho know ho\v to fio-ht in them by 
d.ay and repair them by night. 

To-day that famed fort is leveled, its bomb-proof, parapets 
and traverses are blotted out ; not by the iron hail of hostile 
batteries, but by the wind of heaven and the tides of ocean. 

Defence of Fort Wagxer. 167 

What the wrath of man could not accomplish, the ''still small 
voice" of the Almighty has done. 

Ere long the sea with its white capped waves will sweep 
athwart the page of our country's history, which has been 
written in blood ; even the site of Fort Wagner will be gone. 
ISTot so its name and fame. Sooner will Thermopylae, Mar- 
athon, Salamis, Sebastopol and the other places where in the 
past men have dared, endured and died, be lost to memory, 
than will be forgotten the heroic patience and devoted courage 
of the soldiers who manned the defences of Morris Island. 

In consequence of the great importance of a proper defence 
of Wagner, the command devolved on some officer of high 
rank, as for instance during this siege by General W. B. Tal- 
iaferro and Colonel Graham, General Johnson Hagood, Gen- 
eral A. H. Colquitt, General T. L. Clingman (of our bri- 
gade), Colonel Geo. P. Harrison and L. M. Keitt succeeded 
each other in command, serving generally about five days 

The Confederate forces engaged in repelling this famous 
assault on 18 July, 1863, was as follows: The Fifty-first 
^orth Carolina Regiment; detachment of Captains Buckner's 
and Dixon's companies of Sixty-third Georgia Artillery ; Cap- 
tains Tatum's and Adams' companies First South Carolina 
Infantry (as artillery) ; section of howitzers of DeSaussure 
Artillery, Captain DePass ; section of howitzers Blake's Ar- 
tillery, Lieutenant Waties ; Charleston Battalion, Lieutenant- 
Colonel P. C. Gaillard, and Thirty-first ISTorth Carolina Reg- 
iment, General W. B. Taliaferro in command — about fifteen 
hundred men all told. 

E. K. Bryan, 
E. H. Meadows. 
New Bern, N. C, 

18 July, 1901. 


15-20 SEFTEMBER. 1863. 

By captain C A. CILLEY, A. A. G.. Van Derveer's Brigade. 

Governor C'arr, in order that the valor and devotion of 
the five regiments from this State which fonght at Chica- 
manga, hitherto unnoticed and uncelebrated, should not be 
forgotten, took advantage of the Act of Congress, and during 
the past summer (1893) appointed Commissioners to proceed 
to the field, locate the position of the Sixty-fifth North Caro- 
lina (Sixth Cavalry), Twenty-ninth, Thirty-ninth, Fifty- 
eighth and Sixtieth North Carolina Infantry, and secure the 
permanent designation of the same upon the maps and upon 
the ground. 

Five, of the seven, gentlemen appointed by him, on the even- 
ing of 25 October, 1893, met upon the battle field, and duly 
organized the Commission by electing Captain Isaac H. 
Bailey, the senior Confederate officer, chairman, and Clinton 
A. Cilley, secretary and historian. The other members pres- 
ent were Lieutenants I). F. Baird and Wm. S. Davis, of Wa- 
tauga County, and J. G. Hall, of Hickory. 

Before going to the field, the reports of every Confederate 
officer who had commanded North Carolina troops there, 
from Ca]:)tain to General, were read, compared and carefully 
collated. Maps, furnished by the War Department were 
laboriously examined, compared with the reports, and the re- 
sults thus obtained again gone over in the light of the reports 
of the Federal Commanders. Letters received from survi- 
vors were also filed with the reports, and a history, as accu- 
rate as the times and material at our conmiand would allow, 

* It may appear singular that this account of North Carohna troops 
should be written by a Federal officer, but he was in the battle on the 
other side and as it happened just opposite North Carolina regiments. 
Being well informed as to the location he was appointed by Governor 
Carr Chairman of the Conmiission to visit the field and locate the posi- 
tion of the troops from this State. This sketch is an extract from the 
report of the Commissioners. After the war he located in this State 
and was one of its best citizens — Ed. 

170 North CarolIxXa Troops, 1861-65. 

was written out, of each regiment in action, giving its halting 
places, line of march, jilaces where engaged, and where finally 
located at the end of the battle. 

This preparation showed four pliases of the battle of Chic- 
amauga especially Avorth our attention, not only as attended 
with the most important results to both armies, but as show- 
ing most conspicuously the gallant conduct of the soldiery of 
North Carolina. We may perhaps be pardoned for saying 
that, since this great struggle has of late been given its true 
place in the history of the war, as the most critical of any in 
the West, and will surely take its position in the history of 
the world as one of the few decisive battles of the century, it 
becomes more and more necessary to put in enduring form 
the record of North Carolina's achievements there, thus 
grown to be of even more than national importance. We 
noted down and each of these subjects was fully and patiently 
discussed between the National Commission and ourselves the 
night before we went over the gTound. 

1. The attempt of General Bragg to turn the Federal left, 
and thus secure control of the contested State road leading 
from LaFayette to Chattanooga. The attack was opened by 
Forrest's horsemen. Davidson's Brigade, in which was the 
Sixty-fifth North Carolina ( Sixth Cavalry) took part in the 
movement, and we had already secured evidence of the Sixth's 
honorable position on the right of the line. Some Ex-Confed- 
erates, who had served under Forrest here, and who visited 
the field a few days before our arrival, had so located the 
positions as to corroborate in every way our views. 

Forrest was soon reinforced by Ector's infantry brigade, 
containing the Twenty-ninth North Carolina, who formed, 
advanced and fought over substantially the same ground as 
the cavalry. 

As neither the reports of the brigade or regimental com- 
manders of either the cavalry or infantry detachments have 
been found or printed, we had to rely upon other evidence as 
to the locations. General H. V. Boynton, of the United 
States Commission, had commanded a regiment, and one of 
our Commission had been a staff officer, in the brigade which 
successively met the assaults of Forrest, and Ector, so that 

Chicamauga. 171 

their recollection, aided by information collected before leav- 
ing home, enabled us to fix the position of the Sixth and 
Twenty-ninth, accurately, and to the satisfaction of all pres- 

2. The famous break through the Federal centre about 
noon on Sunday. Here it was, according to the report of 
Colonel David Coleman, Thirty-ninth iSTorth Carolina, who 
towards the close of the day took command of his brigade in 
consequence of General McISTair having been disabled, that 
the brigade, under Coleman's command, charged across an 
open field in face of the heavy fire, and captured nine cannons 
whicli had been playing upon it from the eminence. Colonel 
Coleman, with the modesty of the soldier, contents himself 
with the simple statement, and says no more. 

The commander of another brigade also claims the honor 
of the capture, fortifying his statement by certificates from 
various subordinates. The division commander refers to 
both reports, bnt does not decide between them. He inti- 
mates, however, that out of the abundance of captured can- 
nons, both brigades may have taken the number claimed. 

This made it necessary for us to collect all available evi- 
dence, and subject it to the United States Commissioners the 
night before our actual inspection of the ground. Reports, 
maps and other printed matter were thoroughly examined 
and discussed, and we were assured that should the morning 
survey confirm the conchision arrived at, we could regard our 
contention as successful. 

The next day, after establishing the point where the guns 
Avere massed, we walked up the long slope of Dyer's field, 
over which ten or twelve divisions had fought, and a second 
comparison of all the evidence available, made on the very 
spot of the conflict, so plainly showed the justice of Colonel 
Coleman's claim, tliat we were directed to drive down a stake 
marked with the regiment's name, the date and fact of the 
exploit, at the location contended for. 

3. The attack by Breckinridge on the Federal left, Sunday 
afternoon, and the desperate fighting for the State road in 
Kelley's field. We had no member of the Sixtieth ;N"orth Car- 
olina with us, their regiment having participated in the bat- 

172 North Carolina Troops, 1S61-'65. 

tie here as a member of Stovall's brigade, bvit as two of our 
party on the field were engaged with the brigade which re- 
ceived the charge of the Confederates, and had special cause 
for remembering every incident of the struggle there, we had 
no difficulty in establishing the location. Again reports and 
majjs were brought out, one paced off the distance, another 
read the statement of brigade and regimental commanders, 
General Stewart consulted the maps and announced the de- 
cision. The result was that an oaken tablet, suitably in- 
scribed, was put up on the side of the road, marking it as the 
spot where the Sixtieth North Carolina Infantry, at noon 20 
September, reached the farthest 'point attained by the Confed- 
erate State Troops in that famous charge. 

•1. It remained now only to trace the route of the Fifty- 
eighth Infantry from where it crossed the river, to the scene 
of its magnificent achievement on Snodgrass Hill. Three of 
our Commissioners were survivors of that regiment, and un- 
der their guidance, consulting as ever the reports and maps, 
we had no lr(nible in following its ]jath from its first service, 
supporting batteries, across the field just traversed by the 
Thirty-ninth, to the place where, about the middle of the 
afternoon, this command, never before under fire, plunged 
into the bloodiest struggle of the battle, and one of the dead- 
liest conflicts of the war. Here it was at the base and up to 
the crest of a wooded hill, that Longstreet hurled six divisions 
in an attempt to drive Thomas to retreat. The slopes up 
which it toiled, the ravines through which it fought its way, 
were again trodden by some of its old officers, and after the 
fullest discussion, careful examination of printed and verbal 
testimony, inspection and measurement of the ground, the 
point vherc the topmost vare of the tide of Southern battle 
brolce nearer than any other to the unbroken lines of Thomas' 
defence, was agreed by us all to have been reached by the 
Fifty-eighth North Carolina Infantry. During its three 
hours fighting here, the command lost one-half of its men 
killed and wounded. This point designated by the tablet 
which we jnit up, was not a stone's throw from the place 
selected l)y the Second Minnesota (Federal) Regiment, 
(whose loss was precisely the same), for its monument. 

Chicamauga. 173 

We mav be pardoned for saying that such an interview has 
seldom taken place upon the battlefield as we witnessed. 
There were six veterans, some from each contending army, 
who had borne, among them, every commission from Second 
Lieutenant up to Lieutenant-General, who thirty years ago 
had met almost face to face in the conflicts intent only on 
designating without error, the exact position of their ancient 

Plaving made this location, our task was over. We beg 
leave to express the hope, however, that men Avho so highly 
distinguished themselves as the troops of this State did in 
Kelley's and Dyer's fields, and on Snodgrass Hill, should re- 
ceive from i^orth Carolina statelier monuments and more 
enduring memorials than simple tablets of oak or iron. 

This battle field is now visited almost daily. It will surely 
become the point to which students and travellers will turn 
by thousands every year, and when it is seen that the South- 
ern State, which sent the bravest soldiers to the field, has neg- 
lected them, it will read ill for this Commonwealth. 

]S[o official location being as yet allowed upon Missionary 
liidge, we did not attempt to make any there. 

While at Chattanooga we were visited by Mr. J. P. Smartt 
and Mr. E. S. Pinion, the former a soldier in Cheatham's 
Division, who knew the position of the cavalry brigade and 
Ector's Infantry, the latter a soldier of the Twenty-ninth 
^orth Carolina from Jackson County. 

Their recollection perfectly coincided with the results we 
had reached as to the location of these troops. 

Clinton A. Cilley. 


Lenoir, X. C, 

3 November, 1893. 

Note — The North Carolina regiments at Chicamauga were brigaded as 

Twenty-ninth — in Ector"s Brigade, Walker's Division. 

Thirty-ninth—m McNair's Brigade, Johnson's Division, Buckner's 

Fifty-eighth— \n Kelly's Brigade, Preston's Division, Bnckner's Corps. 

Sixtieth— in Stovall's Brigade, Breckinridge's Division, D. H. Hill's 

Sixty-fifth {Sixth Cavalry) — in Davidson's Brigade, Pegram's Division, 
Forrest's Corps. — Ed. 





1. R. F. Hoke, Major-General 
a. M. W. Ransom, Brigradier-General. 
3. W. G. Lewis. Lieut -Colonel, Com- 
manding Hoke's Brigade. 

4. J. W. Cooke, Commanding the " Albe- 


5. John W. Graham, Major, 56th N. C. T., 

Historian of the Battle. 


20 APRIL, 1664. 

By major JOHN W. GRAHAM, Fifty-Sixth Regiment N. C. T. 

The Confederate forces on this expedition under command 
of Brig-adier-General E. F. Hoke, were Kemper's (Va.) Bri- 
gade, under Colonel Terry ; Hoke's Brigade composed of the 
Twenty-first Georgia, Sixth, Twenty-first and Forty-third 
Xorth Carolina Regiments under Colonel Mercer, of the 
Twenty-first Georgia, the Senior Colonel ; and Eansom's Bri- 
gade under Brigadier-General M. W. Ransom, composed of 
the Twenty-fourth, Twenty-fifth, Fifty-sixth, Eighth and 
Thirty-fifth iNrorth Carolina Regiments. 

The Eighth, which belonged to Clingman's Brigade, had 
been temporarily substituted for the Forty-ninth, left on 
picket duty on the Chowan river. There were also a part of 
a regiment of cavalry under Colonel Bearing, and several 
batteries of artillery, under Lieutenant-Colonel Branch and 
Major Reid, all from Virginia, except a section of Captain 
Miller's (Co. E, 10th K. C. Regiment) Capt. Lee's Mont- 
gomery Blues, of Alabama, and Bradford's (Miss.). 

The Federal foi'ces under command of Brigadier-General 
H. W. Wessels, consisted of the Eighty-fifth IsTew York, Six- 
teenth Connecticut, One Hundred and First and One Hun- 
dred and Third Pennsylvania, two companies of Second Mas- 
sachusetts Heavy Artillery, Twenty-fourth JSTew York Inde- 
pendent Battery of Light Artillery (six guns), two compa- 
nies (A and F) of the Twelfth ISTew York Cavalry, besides 
two companies recruited in iSTorth Carolina, aided by the gim- 
boats Miami, Soutlifield, WJiitehead and Ceres. 

The ram Albemarle , which had been partially completed 
at Edwards' Ferry on the Roanoke river, was expected to go 
down and join in the attack, and especially to encounter the 
four gunboats above named, commanded by Captain Flusser, 
a Eentuckian, said to be an officer of rare intrepidity and 

176 North Carolina Troops, 186l-'65. 

merit. In order to give a better understanding of the natural 
strength of Plymouth and its surroundings, I will state that 
there are two creeks emptying into the Eoanoke above the 
town of Plymouth, the land between them l^eing called War- 
ren's iSTeck, on which ^^'as erected a fort of three guns — one 
100-pounder, and two 32-pound Parrotts. Immediately 
west of the town and outside of the fortifications was a marsh 
extending around to the southwest corner, and crossed only 
at one point by a causeway on the Boyle's Mill road. The for- 
tifications were somewhat in the shape of a parallelogram, the 
longest side parallel to the river, Fort Williams with six 
guns about the center of the line, and projecting forward to 
the south. 

On the lo^wer side of Plymouth Conaby creek flows into the 
Roanoke, but a mile or more to the east of the town. 

AVhere the Columbia road enters on this side, the breast- 
works were not continuous, btit the road was commanded on 
the left as yoii enter, near the town boundary by redoubts 
Avith two guns each at James Bateman's and Charles La- 
tham's, and to the right was Port Comfort with three guns, and 
between that and the river was a swamp, the passage through 
which was very difficult, and these together were considered a 
sufficient defence for that side. Two roads entered the town 
from the south, the Lee's Mill road a little to the east of Fort 
Williams, and the Washington and Jamesville road near the 
southwest comer. To more effectually command this last 
road, and a road which branched off to the left, the Eighty- 
fifth redoubt, with three guns, called Fort Wessels (or Fort 
Sanderson) had been erected to the left of the Washington 
road, aliout half a mile from the line of breastworks, and be- 
yond the ravine which goes intO' the swamp heretofore de- 
scribed. Inside of the fortifications a marsh commences near 
the corner of Monroe and Water streets, and extends out be- 
yond the fortifications. Between this marsh inside the town 
and the Eoanoke river, on a mound or hill now" called Fort 
Worth, was an intrenched camp, where the line of breast- 
works came to the river, and sweeping over it had been placed 
a 200-pound gun, intended expressly for the ram Albemarle. 

Between Second and Third streets, where they reached the 

The Capture of Plymouth. 177 

line of breastworks at the west, and across another ravine ex- 
tending out into the swamp, had been erected an intrenched. 
canip with redoubt, and also another redoubt was at the south- 
west corner of the intrenchments near the Toodles house. 

As the Federal forces had occupied Plymouth for more 
than twelve months, every effort had been made to ren- 
der the place secure from attack, the different forts and 
other redoubts along' the line of breastworks being protected 
by moats, palisades, chevaux de frise, and made as strong to 
resist bombardment or assault as engineering skill could de- 
vise. The Confederate forces had been collected rapidly at 
Tarboro, from which the expedition started on 15 April, 
1864, and arrived within five miles of Plymouth by 4 p. m., 
on Sunday, the ITth, capturing the pickets and routing a 
company of cavalry. 

The First Virginia Regiment, under ]\Iajor Xorton, was 
thrown forAvard as skirmishers, and Kemper's Brigade, with 
Bearing's cavalry and two batteries of artillery under Major 
Reid turned off on a road to the left leading to Warren's 
Neck, to threaten the town from that direction ; and Generals 
Hoke and Ransom, with their brigades, not following the 
direct road from Jamesville, as the bridge across the creek 
had been destroyed, turned to tlie right and crossing the 
troops on a mill dam, made a circuit around into the Wash- 
ington road, a mile below its junction with the Jamesville 
road. Sending on a company of cavalry, two Yankees were 
killed of the picket at this post (Red Top), two only escap- 

Soon we hear the "long-roll" of the enemy, and our line 
is formed to receive a shelling. 

General Hoke's Brigade is some distance in advance and 
on both sides of this road, and Ransom's further to the right 
and along a road Avhich goes perpendicular to the line of 
breastworks on the south of the town. 

Skirmishers are sent forward by both sides, the enemy also 
opening briskly with his artillery. I^ight soon comes on, 
and all is quiet on this part^ of the line except an occasional 
interchange of shots between the skirmishers. 

It is understood that the women and children in the town 

178 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

were sent off to Roanoke Island Sunday night. During the 
night and next morning Hoke's Brigade is moved entirely to 
the left of the Washington road and all his skirmishers in 
front of Ransom's Brigade are relieved by the Twenty-fifth 
and companies from the other regiments. A detail of 250 men 
has been engaged during the night, under CoIodcI l'ais(m, in 
building works near the Washington road from which our ar- 
tillery can play upon Fort Sanderson (or Wessels). These 
are so far finished next morning that one company at a time 
is left to complete the work, and three guns were placed in 

The enemy can now see what has been done, and open upon 
them. The fire is returned, but slowly at first. Company H, 
of the Fifty-sixth Regiment, still continuing the work for 
•other guns, and some of them being wounded by a shell. 

After a while our pieces began in earnest and nearly 
silenced Fort Sanderson, though receiving a hot fire from 
Fort Williams. The day is passed in shelling by our artil- 
lery at different points, our cavalry being around on the Co- 
lumbia road to watch any movements in that direction. 

In the afternoon Dearing and Reid, with field artillery, 
had opened a brisk fire on Fort Warren on the river above the 
town at 1,500 yards, with marked effect, soon cutting down 
the garrison flag staff". 

The gun boats steamed up to the assistance of the fort, but 
one was so seriously disabled that she sank on her return 
down the river. Late in the afternoon we learn that General 
Hoke, with his brigade, will assault Fort Sanderson, while 
Ransom's Brigade with fourteen pieces of artillery under 
Lieutenant-Colonel Branch, will make a demonstration on 
the enemy's left center (that part of the works on tlie long 
side of the parallelogram, on the enemy's left east of Fort 
Williams.) About 5 p. m.. Ransom's Brigade moves to the 
right through some woods, and at the open space in front 
skinnishers are throA\m forward from the different regiments 
to relieve the Twenty-fifth, which now assembles to the left, 
and connects with Hoke's right, distant about three-fourths of 
a mile from Ransom's left. 

Four companies of the Fifty-sixth on its right, B, I, E and 

The Capture of Plymouth. 179 

A (Captains Roberts, Harrill, Lockhart and Hughes), go 
forward as skirmishers, and the brigade (Ransom's) now 
moA^es by the right flank and at the edge of the woods forms 
line of battle in the following order: the Twentv-foiirth on 
the right, next the Eighth, Fifty-sixth and Thirty-fifth. 

The line is now in full view of the enemy, as for a mile 
out f]*om the fortifications everything had been cleared up, 
and targets planted to indicate distance, upon which frequent 
practice had been made. 

The skirmishers, under Captain Jno. C. PegTam and Lieu- 
tenant Applewhite, of the brigade staff, rush forward, those 
of the enemy giving way after a slight resistance. Our ar- 
tillery, consisting of Pegram's, Bradford's, ]\Iiller's and other 
batteries, gallop to the front and quickly unlimber. It is 
now tbat we learn that our demonstration is to march behind 
these batteries, and receive the fire of the enemy from more 
than twenty pieces of artillery, besides two gun boats, throw- 
ing every grade of shell from the 200-pound gun to the 12- 
pound iS[apoleon. 

vSteadily our line advances, lying down at every halt, the 
iron bolts falling thickly in front and rear, and sometim<^s 
in the line itself. Our skirmishers have run those of the 
enemy over their In-eastworks, and are now lying down to 
avoid as far as possible the heavy shower of grape with which 
they are greeted. The demonstration is kept up from 6 until 
nearly 10 p. m., our guns having fired rapidly and the cais- 
sons several times bringing up new supplies of ammunition, 
and our line has advanced three-fourths of a mile and within 
800 yards of Fort Williams, the infantry being ordered to 
reserve their fire. 

A correspondent of the Richmond Examiner signed "R." 
on 24 April, 1864, says: "The action commenced about 
sunset, the night being perfectly clear with a full moon, every 
object was visible. The sight was magTiificent^ — the scream- 
ing, hissing shells meeting and passing each other through 
the sulphurous air, appeared like blazing comets with their 
burning fuses, and would burst with frightful noise, scatter- 
ing their fragments as thick as hail." To show how deadly 
were some of these missiles, I quote from the sketch of the 

180 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'G5. 

Eig-lith Regiment bv Prof. Lnchvig, Vol. 1 of this work, 
jiage 399: "The gimboats in the river also took part in 
shelling our batteries and line. One shell from a gunboat 
came o^'er the town, stimck the ground about one hundred and 
fifty yards in front of the Eighth, ricocheted, and the next 
time struck the ground in the line of the regiment and ex- 
ploded, killing and wounding fifteen men of Company H. 
Three of the men were killed outright, two were mortally 
wounded, and of the others some were severely and some 
slightly wounded." 

Lieutenant C. R. Wilson, of Company D, and fourteen 
men of the Fifty-sixth Regiment, were wounded, several seri- 
ously, but none mortally. In the Twenty-fourth Lieutenant 
Wilkins was killed and five men wounded. I do not know 
the casualties in the Thirty-fifth and TAventy-fifth. 

At 12 o'clock Ransom's Brigade is moved back, leaving a 
line of skirmishers. 

While this demonstration was going on, Hoke's Brigade 
had gallantly charged Fort Sanderson from Welch's creek 
swamp, and supported by artillery, a fierce fig-ht had raged, 
the enemy opposing a spirited resistance. Our infantry 
again and again charged the fort, the enemy hurling at them 
hand grenades, while the strong stockade, deep ditch and' 
high parapet prevented our men from scaling it. During 
one of these charges, the intrepid Colonel Mercer, command- 
ing Hoke's Brigade, fell mortally wounded at the head of his 
command. Also Captain Macon, of the Forty-third North 
Carolina, was killed and twenty or more of the brigade. 
Finally the infantry having entirely suiTounded the fort, 
the artillery was advanced to within 200 yards, when a sur- 
render was made. Captain Chapin, of the Eighty-fifth New 
York, commanding this fort, was also killed. This was 
deemed an important position, where the artillery could be 
concentrated and an assault made on the town, if the gun- 
boats could be driven off by our iron-clad Albemarle. 

A contemporary letter to the Raleigh Confederate makes 
this statement as to the cause of the delay in her arrival: 
'Tt was intended that she should go down, engage the enemy's 
g-unboats and pass below on Sunday night. With that pur- 

The Capture of Plymouth. 181 

pose she left Hamilton on Sunday at 3 o'clock, and took on 
her deck enough iron to tack on imperfectly on the way down. 
Twenty sailors overtook her on the Cora below Hamilton, in- 
creasing her crew to fifty; but her machinery became dam- 
aged on the way — her rudder head twisted off. This de- 
layed her twelve hours, and she only reached Gray's Land- 
ing at 8 p. m. on Monday. The Yankee steamer Wliitehead 
•was at the mouth of the thoroughfare when the Albemarle 
passed, and immediately steamed into the Cashie and to Ply- 
mouth, and reported her coming. 

Cooke's passage was slow, to avoid obstructions and torpe- 
does. Having passed them safely, he steamed past Plymouth 
and without answering the shots from the forts, made for the 
Miatni (Flusser's), and the South field (French's) Yankee 
boats. They had been chained together that they might get 
Cook betAveen and press him back upon a river flat. He 
avoided the trap and ran into the SoiithfieJd, his prow was so 
sharp and his momentum so gTc-at that he rail ten or twelve 
feet into her, sinking her instantly. The whole weight of 
the sinking boat rested on his bow, depressing it so that water 
poured into the forward ports. The Souihfield had deliv- 
ered her broadside of eiglit guns, making not the least impres- 
sion, as this was on the bow which had been finished. The 
current swept his stern around and disengaged him from the 
wreck. ]\Ieantime Flusser seeing his companion wrecked, 
loosed the chains and steamed to Cooke's stern, gave him a 
broadside of six 100-pound rifie gims at a few feet distance, 
upon the iron that !iad been imperfectly l)olted, and dam- 
aged this iron in three places." An account in the Richmond 
Examiner, writtten on 24 April, 18G4, says: "The Miami 
fled, but not nntil she was seriously punished, her commander 
(Flusser) and inany of lier crew being killed. Eighty of the 
BovfJificId's crew were said to have been killed." 

Commander James ^\^ Cooke was an accomplished officer, 
who had entered tlie United States Xavy from Xortli Caro- 
lina in 1828. 

The noise of the guns betvx'een 2 and 3 a. m. on Tuesday 
morning had informed us of Cooke's arrival, and we were 
glad to hear of his success in relieving us from further an- 

182 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

noyaiice from the gunboats. This morning General Ransom 
is ordered to take the Twentj-fourth and Fifty-sixth Regi- 
ments to the riglit of the Lee's Mill road, and make a demon- 
stration against the enemy's works from that quarter. The 
other three regiments of his brigade, with Branch's artillery^ 
are held by General Hoke to su]^port an attack, if after 
thorough reconnoissance, he shall detennine to make an as- 
sault with Hoke's and Kemper's Brigades from the direction 
of Fort Sanderson, captured the night before. Heavy firing 
between the artillery is kept up with an occasional shot 
from the ram Albemarle now below the town, and also the 
guns from Fort Sanderson are turned against the enemy, and 
the skirmishers are pushed close to the works at various 

After this reconnoissance. General Hoke determined not to 
make this attack, and the three regiments and Branch's artil- 
lery are sent to rejoin General Ransom; and the Virginia 
brigade, except a small portion left near Warren's jSTeck, is 
brought around to the south of the town. This brigade had 
by its sharpshooters, prevented the enemy from working the 
guns at the fort wp the river, either upon the ram Albemarle 
or upon our forces to the left of the town. Ransom's Bri- 
gade is ordered in the afternoon to cross Conaby creek to the 
east, and make a detour of four or five miles around to- the 
Columbia road. Colonel Bearing, with some cavalry and 
artillery, comes up, and is allowed to pass the brigade in the 
road. That intuitive perception, Avith wliich tlie private sol- 
diers could often foretell the intent with Avliicli a move is 
made, now comes into play, and through the brigade the feel- 
ing becomes universal that it has been determined to make the 
final assault from the east side of the town, and that Ran- 
som's Brigade would be required to perform this duty. 
Laughing and joking almost cease, and a grim determination 
to do all that could he expected seems to pervade the ranks. 
Although marching at will, there is no straggling, and tlie 
companies close up and each soldier is glad to feel the touch 
of a comrade's elbow. A screen of woods hides the move- 
ment from the enemy. About sunset the column strikes 
the Columbia road and now turns west towards Plvmouth. 

The Capture of Plymouth. 183 

After dark we reach Conaby creek, about a mile or more 
from the town, and the skirmishers thrown fonvard find the 
enemy in strong position on the opposite side, and the bridge 
destroyed. Three pieces of artillery under Captain Blount 
are advanced to within 300 yards, and the enemy soon dis- 
lodged. Our sharpshooters again advance and the enemy 
reappear. Some gallant member of the Twenty-fourth 
plunges into the creek, swims across and brings back a skiff 
and a party soon crosses in it. The pontoons w^hich are in 
charge of Lieutenant-Colonel S. D. Pool, of the Tenth, are 
hurried to the front, placed in the creek, and three or four 
companies pass over and are deployed as skirmishers and 
drive the enemy back. 

The pontoons are then swung around, and a bridge rapidly 
constructed on which the infantry pass over, and are formed 
into line about a mile from the enemy's forts on the (Colum- 
bia) road, the right flank resting on the Roanoke and the left 
extending beyond the road in the following order: Pifty- 
sixth, Colonel Faison, on the extreme right ; then the Twenty- 
fifth, Colonel Rutledge; Eighth, Colonel Murchison ; Thirty- 
fifth, Colonel Jones, and then the Twenty-fourth, Colonel 
Clarke, successively to the left. It is now near midnight^ 
as we had thrown up a slight breastwork, and the men lie 
down to sleep on the bare ground, covered with their blankets 
in groups of two or three for warmth, as the air is sharp and 
piercing, so as to get soane rest for the morrow and the terri- 
ble work ahead. The enemy keep up a shelling through the 
night, but without much effect. Our gunboat, Albemarle^ 
now on the right of our line, exchanges shots with the 200- 
pound gun at the upper end of the town. The night was 
perfectly calm and cloudless, with a full moon lending beauty 
to the scene and the skirmishing is at times sharp and ter- 
rific, but the enemy are kept off at some distance froin our 
line. Just as the moon is going down (and day breaking) 
the troops are aroused and the line of battle formed, and the 
signal rocket gives notice to General Hoke, who is with his 
Brigade near Boyle's Mill, on the west side of the town, that 
Ransoin is ready to advance. The skirmishers under the 
gallant Captain Cicero Durham, the fighting quartermaster 

184 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

of the Fortv-ninTli, now on Ransom's staff, drove those of the 
enemy before them. Tlie infantry now moA^e forward, and 
the artillery, consisting of Blount's, Pegram's, Marshall's 
and Lee's batteries, under Colonel Branch, dash forward on 
the left at a full gallop and o^^en upon the town and the forts 
ahead on both sides of the Columbia road. 

The enemy has brought to bear both siege and field guns, 
and concentrated a terrible fire in the face of our assaulting 
column. Just at this time General Hoke opens with his ar- 
tillery under Majors Moseley and Reid a rapid fire, and his 
infantry sent up yell after yell as if about to charge. The 
Virginia Brigade on the south is also obeying the command 
to "shout,'' and several of that brigade are killed and 
wounded by the enemy slijelliiig; them from Fort Williams. 

As our artillery is kept soiiiewhat in rear of the advancing 
line, the enemy fire over the heads of Ransom's Brigade at 
first, but so<in get a more accurate range. 

Steadily the line goes forward, and performs the duty .as- 
signed, carrying out to the letter the precept, ''Whatsoever thy 
hands find to do, do it with all thy might." 

It will be best to describe the course taken by each regi- 
ment of the brigade, so far as can be gathered from the ac- 
counts written shortly after the battle, or subsequent authen- 
ticated statements. 

In the communication of ''Lone Star" on 22 April, 1S64, 
the Twenty-fcTirth is fortunate in having its deeds recorded, 
which shows that regiment took the two works immediately 
on tlie Columbia road — ''the one on the south of the road, by 
the left of the I'wcnty-fourth, led by Colonel Clarke, an.d the 
one on the uortli by tlie right of the Twenty-fourth, assisted 
by the Thirty-tifrli." And the account further states: "We 
were now in the town, and the head of every street running 
east and west, -was licld by one or more of our regiments, but 
their positions in line were somewhat changed. The Twenty- 
fourth was still on the Columbia road, now street (Second), 
witli the Fifty-sixth and Twenty-fifth to the* right, and the 
Thirty-fifth and Fighth to llie left. Halting a moment to 
breathe the men and dress the line, we pushed slowly and 
carefullv forward, clearing the enemv from everv street, vard 





April 17- 20, 1864. 

By Capt R. D. Graham, 56tt> Reg. N.C.S.T. 

Affer Or'ginal by Solon E. All is, Zl^Reg. Mass.V.Milifla , 

Ocfobe^r, 1665. 

And Comrmnfs of W. M. Bateman, Superior Court Clzrk. , 


500 1000 1500 2000 



*" - ON*. 


The Capture of Plymouth. 185 

and liouse, from the windows of wliich and from behind the 
fences they poured an incessant fire. But nothing could 
check our progress, and witliin an hour they were driven into 
Fort Williams, or into the entrenched camp at the west of 
the town. The fort was on our left, and the camp in front. 
In a few minutes the Fifty-sixth came up on our right hx an- 
other street, and by their arrival decided the contest, for im- 
mediately on the appearance of this additional force, the en- 
emy threw down their arms and raised the white flag. Cap- 
tain Locldiart, of the Fifty-sixth, ran in to receive the sur- 
render and instantly both regiments poured into the camp." 
This sho^\-s beyond question that the Twenty-fourth Kegi- 
ment, when it reached the town, kept its right on Second 
street and passed through the town to the west end, keeping 
between Second and Third, or on Third street, as nothing 
could pass up Second street, OA\ing to the rapid fire kept up 
by the battery at the west end. 
' In the account given by ]\Ir. Ludwig of the part taken by 
the Eighth Regiment on page -tOO of Vol 1, it is stated: "At 
earlv dawn on the morning of the 20th the signal rockets went 
up, and the order came to advance. In the meantime a bat- 
tery of artillery took position in front (on the left) of the 
Eighth Eegiment and opened a rapid fire on the fort in our 
front. The regiment, in fact the whole lu'igade, as ordered 
moved oft" in common time. Xot a rifle was fired, not a 
word spoken. The artillery was doing its full duty in keep- 
ing the enemy's infantry quiet. When the regiment had 
advanced to within al:)0ut 150 yards of the fort, the order to 
charge was given. The ''yell" was raised, and the regiment 
rushed forward to mount the fort. Just at the moment the 
"veil" was raised, the enemy's infantry poured a destructive 
fire into the ranks of the regiment. Our artillery ceased 
firing as the regiment approached near the fort. The men 
rushed on, leaped into the ditch and attempted to scale the 
fort. While the men were attempting to climb over the out- 
side of the fort, the enemy threw hand grenades into the 
ditch. Those who were in the ditch had to get out of it. 
The regiment then swung around to the right, and attempted 
to break through the palisades <.n that side of the fort. The 

186 North Carolina Troops, 1S61-'65. 

palisades had loop holes through which the enemy fired on 
our line. At this puint many of the men were shot through 
the head. The regiment rushed up to the palisades, and as 
the enemy pulled their guns out our men put theirs in and 
fired at on the inside. Such deadly work could not 
last long. The Eighth Eegiment swung a little further 
around to the gate leading to tlie rear of the fort. The gate 
was burst open. The regiment rushed in and the fort surren- 
dered. "Three cheers for North Carolina" were given by 
the regiment, thus announcing that the assault had l^een suc- 

The question naturally arises, what fort was this? As 
will be hereafter stated, the capture of "Fort Comfort" on 
the right of the road was conceded by General Ransom to the 
Thirty-fifth. Where the advance of the brigade began, the 
Columbia road does not run parallel to the river, but obliquely 
to the right. The Twenty-fourth kept on both sides of the 
road; the command given to the brigade had been "Guide 
center." There is a pressure to the left by the Thirty-fifth 
to avoid the branch, canal and the SAvamp which the Twenty- 
fifth and Fifty-sixth had to cross, and in this pressure the 
Twenty-fourth passes ahead, and leaves the left flank of the 
Eighth exposed to an enfilade fire from the left, and the regi- 
ment naturally swings around in that direction to meet the 
gi-eatest danger and injury to them. This brings them around 
towards the fort south of Charles Latham's liouse, less than 
three hundred yards from Fort Comfort, and called "Conaby 
Redoul)^;' ^^■hich was opposite or near the head of Third 
street, and thus carried the Eighth Regiment to the extreme 
left of the brigade, as stated in the contemporaneons account 
given by "Lone Star," and on the direct conrse to Fort, Wil- 
liams; and Conaby Redoubt answers exactly the description 
of the Fort wath palisades, which Mr. Ludwig says the 
Eighth Reg-iment attacked and carried, and its capture is 
claimed by no other regiment and would he otherwise unac- 
counted fr)r. 

The graphic history of Mr. Ludwig continues: "But a 
strong fort (Fort Williams) remained in possession of the 
enemy. The Eighth Regiment formed and attempted to 

The Capture of Plymouth. 187 

storm that. The men charged np to the edge of the siir- 
rounding ditch, only to find that it could not be crossed. 
There was but one of two courses to t^ke, to-wit : either to fall 
back or to surrender. The regiment chose the former. When 
the retreat began, the enemy poured a fearful volley into the 
ranks, killing and wounding many of the men. This charge 
was reckless and unnecessary. It was made under the flush 
of victory, and not by order of the commanding general. 
The fort being surrounded, would have had to surrender any 
way, as it did a few hours aftersvards." 

In the Tayetteville Observer of 9 May, 1864, it is said: 
We have received a communication from an oflicer of the 
Thirty-fifth Xorth Carolina Troops complaining that the 
Richmond papers have given to others the credit due to that 
regiment. He says "Ransom's brigade charged the Yankee 
fortifications, and our regiment (Thirty-fifth) took the first 
fort, the key to the position. Its Colonel, J. G. Jones, of Per- 
son County, was the first to mount the fortifications and in 
honor of him and his regiment, General Ransom changed the 
name from Fort C<>mfort to Fort Jones. To Colonel Jones 
the Yankee commander of that fort surrendered, and a detail 
of that regiment took charge of the first prisoners captured 
(on that day) at Plymouth, and conducted them to the rear. 
Our three centre companies covered the front of the fort, and 
our rigbt and left wings completely surroun;led it. Our dead 
were around the fort, and the dead of no other regiment." 
I regret that I have no fuller account of the operations of this 
regiment, whose noble Colonel, in less than two months af- 
terwards, on the night of IT June, 186-i, yielded his life in 
a heroic and successful charge at Petersburg made by Ran- 
som's Brigade to recapture works lost by another command. 

Before the capture of Fort Comfort has been completed by 
the Thirty-fifth, and the works in their immediate front car- 
ried by the Twenty-fourth, the Eighth Regiment is found 
doing equally effective work to the left of both of them, as 
shown above. The Twenty-fifth Regiment after getting 
through the swamp, finding the Fifty-sixth across its course, 
obliqued to onr right, and proceeded up Water street and be- 
tween that and the river, and assisted in the capture of the 

188 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

intrenched cam]) beyond Fort Worth at the northwest corner 
of the town. Company I, of the Fifty-sixth, under Captain 
Harrill, was sent in advance of the regiment with orders to 
keep along the river, and was thus the first company to enter 
the town, and aljoiit sunrise captured twenty artillerists, who 
were serving the 200-pound gun intended for the Albemarle, 
which was proceeding up the river with our line and secured 
Captain Cooke from further opposition of any moment. 

A cotem]3oraneous account of the operations of the Fifty- 
sixth, dated 1 May, 1864, was written by Major Jno. W. 
Graham signed "Tar Heel," and at the special request of 
Captain Frank X. Roberts, who sent it to the Fayetteville 
Observer, and this has been elaborated from his war journal 
and researches by its historian. Captain E. D. Graham. 
Out of somewhat voluminous data, what is here stated must 
be condensed to come within the proper limits. 

Fortunately we had no forts to encounter directly in our 
front, but there were other obstacles nearly as fonnidable. 
First, a large herd of cattle, which we drive to a deep canal 
in our front, when with wild snorts of terror, they turn and 
break through our line of battle. Into this ditch more than 
six feet deep, we have to go and climb out on the other side 
and ag-ain form our line. The next obstacle is a terrible 
swamp of untried and therefore unknown bottom, through 
which we flounder, many ^vet to the waist, and some all over, 
from falling down. 

Getting through the swamp our line is quickly formed 
again, but here we receive an oblique fire from our left, and 
under a heavy shower of "niinies" go up a hill and drive an 
opposing regiment from the shelter of houses and palings on 
the eastern end of the town, between Water and Second 
streets. Here the Twenty-fifth comes up and enters the 
town on our right. We have several killed and \vounded, 
and among the killed, Jas. W. Hall, of Company D. 

A part of the Fifty-sixth enter on Second street and pro- 
ceed as far as Madison street ; but Major Graham appre^ 
hending that this (Second) street would be swept by artil- 
lery, as we have reached an open square, throws the regiment 
forward into line with the left resting on Second street, and 

The Capture of Plymouth. 189 

the right extending- over to Water street, which the other 
part has entered under Colonel Faison. Lieutenant-Colonel 
Luke has been gallantly leading the extreme right. 

Second street is now swept by a ten^ific fire from the guns 
at the western end. The advance is steadily continued, but 
bullets seem to come from every direction, both from houses 
and excavations in the ground. Our line pushes down fences, 
jerks oft palings and presses forward, passing Adams, Wash- 
ington and Jefferson streets. On this last we get a cross fire 
from Fort Williams which is especially severe. Lieutenants 
Palmer, Holton and Thornton have fallen wounded, and 
many of the men. We next reach Monroe street and in ad- 
vance of any other regiment on either side. 

Here Company B, under Captain Roberts, with Colonel 
Faison, keep to the right of the swamp beginning at this 
point, as heretofore described. They thus become detached 
and aid in the capture of Fort Worth and the intrenched 
camp, at the west end of Water street, which makes a liot 
fight kept up until about 10 a. m., when Colonel Bearing 
reaches this point with one of his guns, and its capture is ef- 
fected. Company I, under Captain Harrell has, as already 
stated, captured the artillerists around the big gim, and also 
strikes the entrenchments just north of the marsh, and secures 
the surrender of prisoners at that point, and the most efi^ec- 
tive service during the rest of the battle is to hold them 
securely — the intervening hill and swamp separating them 
from Ijoth contending forces who are continuing the contest. 

The other eight companies of the regiment keep to the 
left of the swamp, nnder !^^ajor Graham, and capture the 
batteiy of artillery which has been raking Second street. 

As we now pass from beyond the cover of the houses, the 
Yankees are pouring a hot fire into us from the intrenched 
camp ou the western breastworks between Second and Third 
streets, somewhat to our left, and we find the Twenty-fourth 
engaged with them in front. As we are about to charge, the 
Avhite flag goes up, and the surrender is made to Major Gra- 
ham, who directs Captain Lockhart, of Company E, to take 
charge of the prisoners. The flag of the Fifty-sixth is handed 
to Major Graham on the breastworks and waved bv him to 

190 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

Hoke's Brigade, on the west of the town, which had been 
aAvaiting our progress, more than 600 yards distant, as the 
works were too strong to be carried from the west side. Pass- 
ing over another ravine, we receive the last prisoners on that 
side of the town. Hoke's Brigade under Colonel W. G. 
Lewis, of the Forty-third i^orth Carolina, now comes up, 
and it is a relief when he suggests that no further charging is 
necessary, as in the opinion of himself and General Hoke the 
surrender of Fort "W^illiams can be compelled by artillery. 
The town was now entirely ours, except this last strong fort 
on the south, and its surrender was demanded and refused. 
Sharpshooters occupy all advantageous positions in houses 
and other points to keep the enemy from serving their guns, 
and our artillery fire is concentrated on the doomed fort and 
a shell from the Albemarle explodes upon it. General Wes- 
sels has made a gallant fight, but as "the stars in their courses 
fought against Sisera," the converging batteries and mus- 
ketry now jDrevent him from firing a gun. General Hoke 
informs him that, if he provokes a useless sacrifice of life in 
requiring an assault, not a man in the garrison will be 
spared, and between 11 and 12 o'clock a. m., the flag comes 
down on Fort Williams and success crowns our struggle. All 
fighting is now over, except the pursuit of some Yankees and 
negroes who escaped from the fort at the left of Fort Wil- 
liams, and some Buffaloes who had crossed the river, many 
of whom Avere captured. 

General Wessels' oflftcial returns of casualties with the 
loss of Plymouth, was a total in killed, wounded and missing 
(not distinguished by him) of 127 officers and 2,707 men. 

Our losses were understood to be 125 killed and between 
400 and 500 wounded in the brigade and artillery altogether, 
though I have seen no official returns, being greatest in the 
Eighth North Carolina, as it is stated by Mr. Ludwig: "The 
regiment lost one hundred and fifty-four men killed and 
wounded, about one-third of its number." In the Thirty- 
fifth twenty were killed and 84 wounded, including Major 
S. B. Taylor. The losses in other regiments are supposed 
to be stated in their separate history, as I know is the case 
in that of the Fiftv-sixth. In this regiment the colors were 

The Capture of Plymouth. 191 

borne by Ensign Jas. M. Clark, of Orange County, whose 
stalwart figure was conspicuous at every step, and he never 
swerved from any point to which he was directed. He came 
through with a rent banner, but untouched himself, though 
his color guard suffered a loss of one-third, as shown in the 
history of the regiment. 

It will be interesting to survivors to here record the regu- 
lar order of succession from left to right in which the ten 
companies of the Fifty-sixth stood in line of battle. It 
was C, K, G, F, H, D (colors), A, E, I and B. The action 
of the two right companies under their captains have been 
given above. The other eight going through to the end of the 
battle with the Hag, l^eginning with E, were led respectively 
by Captain Joseph G. Lockhart, Captain Xoah H. Hughes, 
Captain Robert D. Graham, Captain Wm. G. Graves, Lieu- 
tenant Valentine J. Palmer, Lieutenant Otis P. Mills, Cap- 
tain Frank R. Alexander, and Captain Alexander P. White. 
When Lieutenant Palmer fell in the charge wounded as the 
regiment passed the jail, Company F pressed steadily for- 
ward with Lieutenant John R. Williams in command. All 
these officers and their men without an exception, displayed 
a coolness, discipline and courage that any commander might 
be proud to witness. I would be glad to mention by name 
officers and men of other conuuands, reported as conspicuous 
for bravery, but where all so well did the work assigned, I 
have deemed it best to narrate the main facts as I have col- 
lected them, and not attempt details of individual prowess 
or give names except of those directing some separate move- 
ment, and of those under my immediate command, from 
whom I could not withhold the meed of praise to which they 
are justly entitled. But I do not wish to seem to ignore the 
splendid work done hy Hoke's Brigade or the Virginia Bri- 
gade under Colonel Terry. 

An officer in the line, will of course be unable to do more 
than observe the part taken by his own regiment or one im- 
mediately adjoining, and has little opportunity of gaining 
correct information, except in a general way, of the opera- 
tions of other commands at distant points. 

A correspondent of the Richmond Examiner of 24 April, 

192 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

■^igiKd "Tt,'' savs : "'The result ct tlii^ uiost 'n'illianr suc- 
cess Avas the capture of some 2,500 prisoners, 28 pieces of ar- 
tillery, heavy and light, some 500 horses, 5,000 stands of 
small arms, TOO harrels of flour, with other commissary and 
quartermaster supplies, immense ordnance stores, and the 
strong position of Plymouth, which protects the whole Roan- 
oke Valley, and furnishes a base for our iron-clad to drive out 
from Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, the large fleet of the 
enemy's gunboats, and open a large and rich counti*y from 
which we can obtain supplies. General Hoke, who com- 
manded the expedition, though only 27 years of age, may 
well rank with our ablest division commanders in the service. 
He has wonderful tact, force, activity and an endurance 
that despises fatigue ; handles troops with great ease and 
celerity, and has their unbounded confidence. Ransom's 
charge has not been surpassed at any time : his military 
genius coniprehended the situation, and he was master of 
it ; he determined on the charge, knowing what dash and 
pluck could accomplish, when satisfied as to the proper point 
of attack. Colonel Dearing, of the cavalry, not ojily handled 
his own connnand with great success, but in the charge of ar- 
tillery and infantry at Port Warren, and both on the right 
and left with Ransom and Hoke, and on Wednesday morn- 
ing in Ransom's charge, his services were invaluable." 

Tn the message of Governor Vance to the General Assem- 
bly of North Carolina 17 May, 1864, he says: "In addition 
to the manv brilliant victories, which have crowned our arins 
this spring in all parts of the Confederacy, I have the sincere 
pleasure to congratulate you upon the splendid success of 
the opening of the campaigii in our State, resulting in the 
recapture of the towns of Washington and Plymouth, and the 
rescue of a considerable portion of our territory from the en- 
emy. This is the more gratifying because it was accomplish- 
ed by troops under the command of two distinguished sons 
of North Carolina — Brigadier, now ]\rajor-General, Hoke, 
commanding the land forces, and Commander Cooke, with the 
steam ram Albemarle. I doubt not you will see .the propri- 
ety of rendering suitable thanks to these gallant officers, and 
the brave officers and men under their command, for the con- 

The Capture of Plymouth. 193 

spieiions heroism which has been rewarded by such splendid 

How the result was viewed at headquarters is shown by the 
telegram sent by President Davis : 

"Brigadier-General Hoke: In the name of the Confeder- 
acy, I thank you for your success. You are a ]\Iajor-Gen- 
eral from the date of the capture of Plymouth." 


Twentij-fiftli Notih Cavolina : The killed reported at the 
time were: In Company A, Jos. L. Edney and W. W. 
Owenby ; in Company B, W. B. Grant ; in Company H, J. M. 
Cartland; and in Company K, G. W. Black. Its wounded 
were 20. 

Tirenty -fourth Noiili Carolina. Lieutenant Wilkins was 
killed, and five men wounded on the night of IS April. In 
the same regiment 20 April, the killed were: J. W. Puck- 
ett, of Company B ; E. K. Hocutt, of Company C ; A. J. 
Young and K. B. Taylor, of Company E ; Jos. Mangum, of 
Company H; Joshua Canady, of Company I; and J. F. 
Baker, of Company K ; Lieutenants E. S. Sanders and T. T. 
Lee, of Company E, and Ca])tain W. J. Squiggins, of Com- 
pany D, and 84 men wounded. 

Thirty- fifth North Carolina. The killed reported were: 
Robert W. BroAvn, of Company A ; Corporal W. H. Council, 
of Company I) ; Lieutenant J. X. Loy, Sergeants H. W. 
Oakley and J. J. Yarborough, and T. S. Drake, T. R. Gen- 
try and \. Evans, of Company E ; Sergeant John Dulin, J. 
E. Harris and John Xoles, of Com])any H; and Sergeant T. 
W. Conley, J. AV. Abernathy, D. Denton, D. Moore, J. C. 
Whisenhundt and P. S. Whitener were killed, and Lieutenant 
D. P. Glass mortally wounded in Company K. Major S. B. 
Taylor and 84- men were vrounded. 

Eighth North Carolina. The killed were: H. C. Stoke- 
ly, of Company A ; George W. Graves, of Company B ; W. 
J. Baker, of Company C ; B. F. Patterson, of Company D ; 
Lieutenant D. A. Patterson and John Coddle, of Company 
E; Lieutenant L. D. Lauirley and Sergeant J. J. Tunnage, of 


194 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

Company G; First Sergeant J. A. Barringer and J. C. 
Klutts, W. M. Sides, ]Srelson Barringer, Moses Dvy, J. C. 
Linebei'gcr, E. J. Patterson and J. E. Barringer, J. J. 
Ketchey, John Raney, J. S. Murph, and Wiley S. Seaford. 
Lieutenants A. II. Gregory, D. W. Weaver, S. J. Thornton, 
James K. McKethan and P. J. Miller, and Ensign Frank 
Perkins, and 101 others were wounded. 

Sixth North Carolina. The killed were: John McDan- 
iel, of Company C ; Harvey Hanna and Joshua Johnson, of 
Company H; John W. Faucett, of Company F ; Henry Capps 
of Company K, mortally, and Lieutenant W. S. Clinton and 
29 others severely wounded. 

Tivcnty-first North Carolina. The killed were : Sergeant 
F. C. Clinard, of Company A ; J. W. Hodges and A. F. Pat- 
terson, of Company C ; Corporal J. F. Beek and Chas. K. 
Kallum, of Company D ; Wm. Hancock and Cal. Edwards, 
of Company F; Captain J. O. Blackburn, of Company G; 
D. A. Pay, of Company H; S. W. Dick, of Company I; B. 
F. Loinhack and Jos. Long, of Company K ; Corporal J. G. 
Wilkinson, of Company L ; and M. M. Wright, George Wy- 
rick and Wm. Pichardson, of Company M. The wounded 
were 35 and one missing. 

F orty-tliird North Carolina. The killed were: P. B. 
Mclv orkle, of Company B ; Stephen Penf ree, of Company 
C ; Captain H. A. Macon, of Company F, and Lewis Duke, of 
Company G. There were 13 wounded, including Lieutenant 
H. Brown and Sergeant T. H. Bobbitt. It is to be regretted 
that a full list of casualties in the gallant Twenty-first Geor- 
gia Pegiment, forming with the above named, Hoke's Bri- 
gade, was not given to the T^orth Carolina papers. It is 
noted that the list of wounded at Plymouth and received at 
the hospital in Wilson, jST. C, including the following from 
the Twenty-first Georgia: D. Dyal, J. F. Cook, W. M. 
Hensly, F.' M. Pawls,"w. B. Phillips, L. W. Jones, L. A. 
Hudgins, P. Marshall, J. C. Booles, J. B. Peid, J. T. Wil- 
liams, John Dempsey, L. B. Davis, B. F. Gross, and G. L. 

At the same hospital there were from the Seventh Vir- 
ginia Pegiment Heniw Bowen, and from the Twenty-fourth 

The Capture of Plymouth. 195 

Virginia W. D. Mountcastle, H. A. Mills, James Thomason, 
G. H. Rut ledge and J. P. Wyson. 

From Bradford's Mississippi Battery, Corporal T. L. Rns- 

John W. Graham. 


20 April, 1901. 



x\bout 2 o'clock in the morning of 3lMay, 1864, while lying 
in the trenches at Bermiida Hundreds, I received an order to 
move to join General Lee's army^ directing, however, one 
regiment of my brigade to hold temporarily the line I was 
leaving. I at once moved to the railroad station with the 
Eighth, Thirty-first and Fifty-first Regiments, !N^orth Caro- 
lina Troops, the Sixty-first being left in position. A little 
after daylight, at the railroad station, the brigade of Hoke's 
Division which was to have moved first, not being there, I 
was ordered to take the lead. I arrived in Richmond 
soon after sunrise ; on calling to see General Bragg, was 
directed by him to take the railroad to Atlee's Station, and 
report to General Lee — then having his headquarters there. 
Two miles short of that place I met Colonel Crawley, Gen- 
eral Lee's Quartermaster, who delivered to me an autograph 
letter from General Lee, directing me to proceed by Mechan- 
icsville and Gaines' Mill to Old Cold Harbor, and there sup- 
port Major-General Fitzhugh Lee's cavalry, and also direct- 
ing me to communicate this order to any other portion of 
Major-General Hoke's Division. After I had passed two or 
more miles beyond Mechanicsville, I received an order from 
Major-General Hoke directing me to await further orders at 
that place. After remaining there about three hours, I re- 
ceived a second order from General Hoke to move on to Cold 
Harbor. On arriving there, I found General Hoke, who 
directed me to take a position on the left of that occupied by 
the main body of the cavalry. The Thirty-first Regiment, 
commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Knight, was placed on my 
right : the Eighth, under Lieutenant-Colonel Murchison, in 
the center, and the Eifty-first under Colonel McKethan, on 
the left. Soon after, Major-General Hoke ordered that the 

198 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'6o. 

Fifty-first should move forward and to the left about four or 
■five hundred yards, to support a portion of the cavalry who 
were acting as infantry, and engaged with the enemy. I 
therefore carried forward this regiment and placed it in posi- 
tion, and as this was the most exposed and dangerous part of 
my line, I remained with it. We, though subjected to a 
heavy fire both of artillery and musketry, sustained little 
loss. After we had been engaged for some time, the cavalry 
on my left gave way, and the enemy's advance then enabled 
them to annoy us a good deal by their fire on the left flank of 
our position where I was stationed. Two companies de- 
tached from the Fifty-first to the left, owing to the miscon- 
duct of their commander, Captain - — . • — . , failed to 

drive back the enemy there. Though he was three times or- 
dered to open on them, yet he failed to do so, but kept his 
men lying down in the road about one hundred and fifty 
yards on my left. 

A half hour, or perhaps an hour later, the cavalry on my 
right all gave way, and passed to the rear in squads, alleging 
that their ammunition had given out. Seeing the enemy 
would soon pass me on both sides, I ordered Colonel Mc- 
Kethan, after a few minutes, to fall back to the fence, a feW 
hundred yards to the rear, and sent one of my couriers to the 
otlier two regiments, who were only a hundred yards in ad- 
vance of the fence, to occupy the same line. As I was retir- 
ing to point out the several positions each regiment was to 
occupy, a ]xjrtion of a shell took away the front of my hat 
and slightly wounded my forehead. Though somewhat 
stunned for an instant, I was not disabled at all, but observ- 
ing that all the cavalry in reserve on my right had likewise 
retired, as my several regiments came back, they were 
placed in position on the other side of the field to the rear 
of the place I had intended them to occupy. A few of my 
command were captured by that portion of the enemy who 
came between the Fifty-first and Eighth Regiments. Our 
loss in all was less than one hundred. My Adjutant-Gen- 
eral, Captain Edward White, was severely wounded by a 
shell while in line with the Eighth Regiment where I had 
left him when I moved forward. We held this position 

Second Cold Harbor. 199 

during the night, having been reinforced by the arrival, 
about dark, of the Sixty-first Regiment of my brigade, un- 
der Colonel J. D. Radcliffe, and also by General Colquitt's 
Brigade, which took position on my right. 

At daylight in the morning of 1 June, 1864, to obtain a 
better line, my left was drawn back about two hundred yards, 
and took a position selected by General Hoke, while the right 
of my brigade united with General Colquitt's. My left 
rested at the bank of a branch. Soon after sunrise. General 
Kershaw's Brigade took position on the hill on my left, 
but with an interval of about seventy-five yards between their 
right and my left. I rode over and expressed to the officer 
in command of the nearest regiment, a wish that he would 
extend his right to the branch, so as to unite with my com- 
mand, but he declined to do so. I was about to extend my 
line across the branch, though contrary to the orders I had 
received, but soon after was informed by Major-General Hoke 
that this was unnecessary, as General Hagood's Brigade 
would be stationed in front of my left and cover this inter- 
val. About 9 o'clock General Hagood's Brigade did take 
position about one hundred and fifty yards in front of my 
line, so that his right regiment was in front of the left regi- 
ment of my brigade, while the rest of his command was in 
front of General Kershaw's position. 

The Sixty-first Regiment occupied the right of my line, 
next it was the Thirty-first, then the Fifty-first, and my left 
was held by the Eighth Regiment. The men all went vigor- 
ously to work and with their hands and bayonets had made 
with rails each a pretty good entrenchment as against mus- 
ketry by midday. After 1 o'clock I passed along the line of 
General Hagood's Brigade in my front to be assured that 
they were still in the position in which they had been placed 
in the morning. About 3 o'clock, however, this brigade, in 
obedience to Major-General Hoke's orders, was moved away 
to the right without my knowledge. General Hagood subse- 
quently told me that he notified General Kershaw of his 
movement, but he gave me no notice. Had I not felt sure of 
his still being there, I should have sent companies of my com- 
mand across the branch on my left, and might thus have pre- 

200 North CarolixNa Troops, 1861-65. 

vented most of the loss subsequently sustained. Shortly 
after 3 o'clock the enemv opened heavily with their artillery 
on us, and after an interval of perhaps three-quarters of an 
hour, their infantry advanced. Just as they were getting 
within good range, there was a heavy discharge of musketry 
from Kershaw's Brigade on my left, and then a cessation 
of firing in that quarter. I then supposed that the enemy 
had only made a feint in that direction, whereas, in fact. 
as I have subsequently learned, this brigade fled precipitately 
from the field after discharging their muskets.* Believing 
that tlie point of greatest danger was on my left owing to the 
cover which the thick woods there afi'orded the enemy in their 
advance, I took my position in the line near the left of the 
Fifty-first Regiment. A^^ien the enemy were first seen ad- 
vancing through the trees at a distance of nearly one hundred 
and fifty yards, supjiosing they were a portion of General Ha- 
good's Brigade, which was falling back, I ordered my men not 
to fire. As soon as their true character was ascertained, we 
opened on them. They were then in line of battle and about 
one hundred yards distant. Though the places of those in 
front were for a time supplied by fresh troops, they ulti- 
mately gave way and Avere driven back out of sight. I or- 
dered my men t(T stop firing to allow the smoke to be dissi- 
pated. Tmmediarely in my front for seventy or eighty yards 
the groimd slightly descended, then rose up into the slope of 
the liill. But a lirtle to the left where the branch came down 
the raA^ne was continuous. Along this de])ression a large 
column of the enemy following their lines of battle advanced 
Avithout being observed by us. As soon as they Avere draAvn 
in the bottom they changed their route somcAvhat, inclining 
toAvards our right. They Avere in this manner brought up 
directly in front of the left of the Fifty-first AA'here I Avas 
standing. After I had ordered the firing to cease and the 
smoke had partially been dissipated, I directed there should 
be no firing until the enemy should be seen again. 

As the hill Avhere the enemv's line of battle had been, in 

* Keitt's "big regiment" broke first and Colonel Keitt was killed 
while trying to rally them. — Ed. 

Second Cold Harbor. 201 

o^l^ front, was much elevated above us, we did not from our 
position behind our hastily made earthworks, observe the low 
ground in front and to the left. On my repeating the order 
tc- look out for the approach of the enemy, Captain Fred. R. 
Blake, of my staff, who was just by my side on the right, 
elevated himself so as to overlook the heads of our men, who 
after loading their guns, were in a stooping position, sud- 
denly exclaimed: "'Here they are, as thick as they can be!" 
Kising immediately as he had done, I saw there was within 
eight or ten paces of us, a heavy column of the enemy. They 
showed probably about thirty men in front and were closed in 
mass very compactly. They had an apparently new blue 
uniform, and were marching at a quick-step. Prisoners sub- 
se(piently taken stated that they were fresh troops that had 
been in garrison and had not previously been engaged, and 
had expressed great confidence that they would march into 
Richmond. It was also stated that they had orders not to 
fire a gun or to cheer until they had carried our works. 
From the fact that the column displayed four flags, I took it 
to consist of four regiments. The instant I saw them, as my 
men had been firing at objects elevated on the hill, I was ap- 
prehensive that they might fire too high, I therefore in a 
loud voice, said: "Aim low and aim well!" As I did this 
a tall and uncommonly fine looking oflficer in the front rank 
of the enemy's column, hearing the order and looking me 
directly in tlie face, though he changed countenance for a 
moment, took off his cap and waving it al:)0ut his head, 
cheered his men in words which I could not catch. Just as 
he had jdaced his hat back on his head, and before he had 
time to lower his hand again to his side, a soldier immedi- 
ately on my right discharged his musket and the liall entered 
the u])per part of his forehead, and he fell backAvard stagger- 
ing the two men behind him. 

The discharge from my line at once knocked down the 
front ranks of the column, while the oblique fire along the 
right and left cut down the men rapidly all along the column 
towards the rear. In a few moments the whole column either 
acting under orders, or from panic, lay down. Xothing 
could have been more unfortunate for them. While they 

202 North Carolina Troops, i861-'65. 

thus lay there, the men of niv command continued to reload 
and discharge their pieces into the thick, dark mass. The 
officers fired their repeaters, while such as had none occa- 
sionally borrowed muskets from privates and discharged them 
at particular individuals. As the survivors lay still to avoid 
attracting particular attention, it was soon impossible to dis- 
ting-uish the living from the dead. After some fifteen or 
twenty rounds had been fired into the prostrate mass, I 
directed the firing to cease. Upon this occurring, a portion 
of the column, not I think, more than one-tenth, arose and 
fled to the rear ; many of these, however, were shot down as 
they attempted to escape. 

On the right of my line, ^^'here the Sixty-first Regiment 
was stationed, the enemy made a vigorous attack in line of 
battle, but as the ground was more open, they were not able 
to ai^i^roach nearer than either eighty or one hundred yards, 
but left large numbers of dead on that part of the field. Un- 
der cover of thick undergrowth they approached somewhat 
nearer the Thirty-first but were repulsed with much slaughter. 
After the enemy had thus been driven entirely away, the men 
cheered all along our lines. Before the smoke had been en- 
tirely dissi]:)ated, however, there was a sudden attack on my 
left, under the following circumstances : When General 

's Brigade on my left abandoned the field, in the 

beginning of the engagement, a large force of the enemy 
passed quietly to llie rear of my left. This they did without 
observation on account of the thickness of the woods there. 
We had been too constantly engaged to have time to ascer- 
tain that the troops on our left had, more than an hour pre- 
vious, left the field. The enemy had full time, therefore, to 
make their arrangements to attack us both on the left flank 
and in our rear. Favored by the thick bushes and smoke, 
they had gotten within fifty yards of the rear and left of 
the Eighth Regiment, and suddenly, just as our men had 
ceased to cheer, they opened on them a heavy fire at short 
range against their backs and from the left simultaneously. 
Though under these circumstances surprised, the men of the 
Eighth faced about, and. with the left of the Fifty-first, en- 
deavored to keep up the contest. The odds in such a strug- 

Second Cold Harbor. 203 

gle were too great, and our men fell so fast that, seeing it 
impossible for them longer to maintain the contest there, I 
directed Lieutenant-Colonel Murchison, who, though flushed 
and excited by such a disaster, showed the greatest self-pos- 
session and courage, to withdraw the survivors so as to form 
a new line of battle perpendicular to the first one, extending 
from the right of the Fifty-first to our rear. In this posi- 
tion the survivors of the Eighth and Fifty-first held their 
ground for some time against the greatly superior forces of 
the enemy. I then ordered the Thirty-first to file out of the 
intrenchment and form with theiu. With this force we 
charged the enemy, and drove them back so as to enable us to 
reoccuj)y our original line for a few moments only; because 
the enemy being posted along the branch, and also on the 
hill, rendered it impossible for my small force to resist them, 
and it Avas again driven back. While I was endeavoring to 
reform the line, Captain Henderson, of the Eighth, said to 
me, "Colonel Murchison is dead." I replied, "I hope not, 
for I spoke to him but a few minutes since." In fact, as I 
soon learned, just as he had gotten back into the trench, which 
he had with his regiment occupied during the day, he re- 
ceived a ball in the head which terminated his life. Finding 
that no enemy was immediately in our front then, but only a 
heavy artillery fire kept up, I ordered Colonel Radcliffe to 
file his regiment out of the trenches so as to aid us in the next 
attack. As I afterwards learned, he himself, with the larger 
part of his command, did not obey this order and stayed in 
the trench. Being busied with forming the line under the 
heavy fire of the enemy, I observed soon, however, the delay 
of this regiment in getting into position, and going up to its 
left, I ordered them to file out to the rear, so as to form the 
right of our new line of battle. Lieutenant-Colonel Devane 
took out a portion of the regiment, and I thus su])posed they 
were all following. While the line was being formed, Colo- 
nel Zachary, of General Colquitt's Brigade, with five com- 
panies of the Twenty-seventh Georgia Regiment, came up 
and charged with us. The struggle had continued for sev- 
eral hours, and it was now after sunset. We drove the en- 
emy back again and reoccupied the left of our original line. 

204 North Carolina Troops, 1861 -'65. 

Captain Henderson, who had succeeded to the command of 
the Eighth, was, however, slain in this last charge. 

Before night closed, we thus held again our original line 
intact, but the thick woods and dusk of the closing evening, 
allowed the enemy to rest within fifty yards of our left. I 
then received an order from ]\Iajor-General Hoke, through 
one of his staif, to vacate so much of my line on the left, as 
was within the woods, as it was said that Hunton's Brigade 

was moving up to occupy the ground that had 

lost. I told this staff officer that it was better for me to hold 
my whole line until this brigade arrived, for that if .any part 
was vacated the enemy would occupy it. The officer insisted, 
hoAvever, that I must withdraw at once, as the other brigade 
was approaching, and confusion might be produced. I was 
thus compelled to give up, reluctantly, about one hundred 
or one liundred and fifty yards of my line on the left. Hun- 
ton's brigade did not, in fact, come up until the next morn- 
ing, but as I had foreseen, the enemy immediately extended 
tiieir lines until within twenty or thirty yards of my left, 
being protected by a little elevation of the ground between us. 
One Virginia regiment came up and took position in rear of 
ijiy left, at right angles to it, extending to the rear. While 
1 was standing at the angle thus formed at my left a body of 
troops was seen moving by the flank from the left, but just 
in front of our old lines. Not knowing but that this was a 
part of Hunton's command, I hailed them. Some of my 
officers said, "These are our pickets coming in." I replied, 
''We have no pickets out." As this body of troops was by 
ijiis time just opposite my left, about eight or ten feet in its 
front, but just as near as they could get by reason of the 
slight work thrown u]5 high enough to cover a man to the 
hijis, T said very loud: "Speak or you will be fired into." 
Getting no answer, I ordered my men to fire, and myself 
barely escaped our own fire by falling to the ground as the 
miiskets were discharged over me. After a few volleys, the 
enemy had disappeared. It was evident that they expected 
under cover of the darkness, by moving up silently to occupy 
a still larger share of our original line. The two lines were 
during the night separated by less than fifty yards, and by 

Second Cold Harbor. 205 

morning work enough had been done to perfect each. During 
the following day there was only skirmishing, but on the next 
(Friday, the 3d), the enemy made an attack on several parts 
of the Confederate lines, though not heavily in my front, 
only engagiiig the right of my line, with General Colquitt's 
Brigade. They lost again so heavily on this day that there 
.was no further attempt by them, except by slow approaches. 
At daybreak on the morning of the 13th, it was seen that they 
had abandoned our front and moved on towards Petersburg. 

In the engagement of 1 June, Captains Blake and 
Burgwyn, of my staff, both fell, severely wounded ; and as 
Captain White had on the previous evening been disabled, I 
was without a single staff officer present. In this engage- 
ment though my brigade, deprived suddenly of its support, 
was at the same time assailed in front, on its left flank and 
from its rear, at close quarters and by vastly superior num- 
bers, it was neither panic-stricken or beaten. After a strug- 
gle which continued for three hours, and after losing more 
than one-third of its strength, it recovered all its ground and 
repulsed its assailants. 

The important position at Cold Harbor Avas thus preserved 
to General Lee. Its conduct in similar circumstances in 
front of Petersburg, a little later on the evening of 17 June, 
1864, was detailed in my official report of that engagement. 

T. L. Clingman. 


3 June, 1874. 


25 AUCiUST. 156^. 

By major CHAS. M. STEDMAX, Forty-Fourth Regiment, N. C. T. 

Upon the investment of Petersburg, the possession of the 
Weldon road became of manifest importance, as it was Lee's 
main line of communication with the South, whence he drew 
his men and supplies. On 18 August, 1864, General G. K. 
Wari-en, Avith the Fifth Corps of Grant's Army and Kaut'z's 
Division of Cavalry, occupied the line of the Weldon road 
at a poijit six miles from Petersburg. An attempt was made 
to dislodge them from this position on the 21st, but the effort 
failed. Emboldened by Warren's success, Hancock was or- 
dered from Deep Bottom to Reams Station, ten miles from 
Petersburg. He arrived there on the 22d, and promptly 
commenced the destruction of the railroad track. His in- 
fantry force consisted of Gibbon's and Miks' Divisions, and 
in the afternoon of the 25tli, he was reinforced by the divis- 
ion of Orlando B. Wilcox, which however, arrived too late 
to be of any substantial service to him. Gregg's Division of 
cavalry, with an additional brigade, commanded by Spear, 
was with him and abundant artillerj-. 

On the 22d Gregg was assailed by Wade Hampton with one 
of his cavalry divisions, and a sharp contest ensued. Gen- 
eral Hampton from the battle field of the 22d, sent a note to 
General K. E. Lee, suggesting an immediate attack with in- 
fantry; that great connnander realizing that a favorable op- 
portunity was offered to strike Hancock a heavy blow, 
directed Lieutenant-General A. P. Hill to advance against 
him as promptly as possible. General Hill left his camp 
near Petersburg on the night of the 24th, and marching south, 
halted near Armstrong's Mill, about eight miles from Peters- 

On the morning of the 25th he advanced to Monk's JSTeck 
bridge, three miles from Beams Station, and awaited advices 

208 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

from Hampton. The Confederate force actually present at 
Reams Station consisted of Cooke's and MacRae's Brigades, 
of lleth's Division ; Lane's, Scales' and McGowan's Brigades, 
of Wilcox's Division ; Anderson's Brigade of Longstreet's 
Corps; two brigades of Mahone's Division; Butler's a; 'd 
W. H. F. Lee's Divisions of Cavalry and a portion of 
Pegram's Battalion of artillery. General Hampton, com- 
manding cavalry, marched at daylight on the morning of 
the 25th, and drove the Federal cavalry before him at all 
points. Both of his divisions united at Malone's Crossing, 
about two and a half miles from Reams Station, having 
moved against the enemy by different routes. Here Hamp- 
ton A\'as attacked by a portion of Hancock's infantry, when he 
dismounted his entire force and a spirited light was in pro- 
gress when the columns of A. P. Hill appeared in sight, with 
the purpose of attacking Plancock's force from the front, 
Hancock's infantry, who were expecting an attack from Hill, 
had entrenched themselves strongly on the west side of the 
railroad and a short distance from it. Hill ordered the first 
assault about 2 o'clock in the afternoon. The assaulting 
column consisted of Anderson's Georgia Brigade and Scales' 
JSTorth Carolina Brigade. These two brigades, after a severe 
conflict in which both fought well, were repulsed. The sec- 
ond assault was made about 5 o'clock in the afternoon by the 
three Xorth Carolina Brigades of Lane, Cooke, and MacRae, 
from left to right, in the order named. These troops had 
become famous throughout the entire army for their fighting 
qualities. How could it be otherwise with such brigade com- 
manders ? On this day General Conner, of South Carolina, 
was commanding Lane's Brigade, as General Lane had been 
severely wounded at Cold Harbor. 

In front of Lane and Cooke the enemy had felled trees, 
sharpening the limbs and making it very difficult to get 
through them. MacRae had an open field between him and 
the enemy's breastworks, and for this reason, as the other two 
brigades would be necessarily retarded by the abatis, which 
was exceedingly formidable wdiere Lane's men had to pass, 
they were ordered to advance somewhat sooner that MacRae's 
men. MacRae's line of battle was in the edge of a pine thick- 

Reams Station. 209 

et about three hundred yards from the breastworks to be as- 
saulted. Walking along the line MacRae told the men that he 
knew they would go over the works, and that he wished them 
to do so without firing a gam. "xVll right, General, we will go 
there," was the answer which came from all. The men were 
in high spirits, jesting and laughing, and ready to move on 
an instant's notice. In the meanwhile Lane's and Cooke's 
Brigades advancing were received by a heavy fire of 
both musketry and artillery. As the fire became more vio- 
lent, especially in front of Lane, MacRae, prompted by that 
great and magnanimous spirit -which ever characterized him, 
and realizing that the crisis of the conflict was at hand, said 
to Captain Louis G. Young, his Adjutant-General, ''I shall 
wait no longer for orders. Lane is drawing the entire fire of 
the enemy ; give the order to advance at once." Hitherto his 
brigade had received but slight attention from the enemy, the 
greater portion of tlieir fire having been directed against 
Lane's and Cooke's Eidgades. But warned of the danger 
which threatened them, by the loud cheers from MacRae's Bri- 
gade, as it emerged from its covering of pines and advanced 
to the assault, they o])ened a tremendous fire of small arms, 
with a converging fire of artillery along MacRae's whole front. 
It was all in vain. MacRae's men in a line almost as straight 
and unbroken as they ])resented when on parade, without 
firing a gun, threw themselves forward at a double-quick, 
and mounting the entrenchments, precipitated themselves 
among the enemy's infantry on the other side, who seemed to 
be dazed by the vehemence of the attack, and made a very fee- 
ble resistance after their works were reached. Lane's and 
Cooke's men, stimulated by the shouts of jMacRae's Brigade 
on their right, redoubled their exertions and advancing with 
great rapidity through the fallen timl^er, were close under 
the works when MacRae struck them. In fact, portions of 
the three brigades crossed the embankment together, and the 
glory of the victory belongs equally to them all. Xor were 
our cavalry idle spectators of the ficht. As soon as it was 
evident to General Hampton that Hill's infantry had com- 
menced the second assault with the three jSTorth Carolina 

510 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

Brigades, lie ordered his entire force, which had been dis- 
mounted, to attack the enemy in tlank and rear. This was 
done most gallantly and snccessfnlly. General Rufus Bar- 
ringer, of North Carolina, commamled W. II. F. Lee's Divis- 
ion wit.h marked skill and gallantry, whilst Colonel W. H. 
Cheek, of Warren county, led Barringer's Brigade with his 
accustomed dash. The cavalry vied with the infantry in 
their headlong assault upon the enemy's lines. The ISTine- 
teenth North Carolina {'2 Cav.) under General W. P. Roberts, 
of Gates County, carried the lirst line of riflr>pits on the right, 
and the cavalry all swept over the main line. Their works 
stormed in front, their lines carried in tlank and rear, the en- 
emy's infantry gave way at all points and abandoned the field 
in confusion and without any appearance of order. In 
truth, the Federal infantry did not show the determination 
which had generally marked the conduct of Hancock's Corps. 
Xot so witli the Federal artillery. It was fought to the last 
with unHinchiug courage. Some minutes before the second 
assault was made. General ]\IacBae had ordered Lieutenant 
W. E. Kyle, with the sharpshooters, to concentrate his fire 
Ti]:»on the Federal batteries. Many men and horses rapidly 
fell under the deadly fire of these iutrepid marksmen. Yet 
still the artillerists who were left, stood by their guns. When 
MacRae's Brigade crossed the embankment, a battery which 
w^as on his right front as he advanced, wdieeled to a right angle 
wuth its origiual position, and opened a fire of grape and can- 
ister at close quarters, enfilading the Confederate lines ; Gen- 
eral MacRae immediately ordered this battery to be taken. 
Although entirely abandoned by its infantry support, it con- 
tinned a rapid fire upon the attacking column until the guns 
were reached. Some of the gunners even then refused to sur- 
render and were taken by sheer physical force. They were 
animated in their gallant conduct by the example of their com- 
manding officer. On horse back, he was a conspicuous target, 
and his voice could be distinctly heard encouraging his men. 
Struck ^^•ith admiration by his bravery, every effort was made 
"by General MacRae, Captain W. P. Oldham, Captain Robert 
Biugham, and one or two others who were among the first to 
reach the guns, to save the life of this manly opponent. Un- 

Reams Station. 211 

fortunately he Avas struck l)_v a ball which came from the ex- 
treme flank, as all firing had ceased in front of him and he 
fell from his horse mortally wounded, not more lamented by 
his own men than by those who combatted him. This bat- 
tery, when captured, was at once turned upon the retreating 
columns of the enemy. It was manned by a few of MacKae's 
sharpshooters, all of whom were trained in artillery practice. 
They were aided ly Captain Oldham, Lieutenant Kyle and 
others, not now remembered. Captain Oldham sighted one 
of the guns repeatcMlly. and when he saw the effect of his ac- 
curate aim upon the disordered masses in front, was so jubi- 
lant that General MacRae, with his usual quiet humor, re- 
marked, '^Oldham thinks he is at a ball in Petersburg." 

After the capture of the breastworks. General McGowan's 
Brigade Avas sent in on the right. That generous hearted 
old hero declined to make any official report of the conduct 
of his brigade, giving as a reason therefor, that he ''supposed 
he Avas only sent in to help the Xortli Carolinians in the pur- 
suit, and gather u]i the spoils of war which had been captured 
hy them.'' His unselfish example was well worthy of imita- 
tion. Mahone's old brigade subsequently advanced over the 
same field, but the hard fighting was over. 

The Federal loss in this battle was between six hundred and 
seven Inmdved killed and wonnded, two thousaml one hun- 
dred and fifty prisoners, three thousand one hundred stand 
of small arms, twelve stand of colors, nine guns and caissons. 
Among the prisoners ca]Unred was General Walker, of Han- 
cock's staff, who surrendered to Lieutenant Kyle. Kyle here, 
as elsewhere, was in the very front of the assaulting column. 

The Confederate loss was small, and fell prineijially upon 
Lane's Brigade. In the second and final assault it was about 
five hundred in killed and wounded. The result of this bril- 
liant engagement was hailed with great rejoicing throughout 
the South, and shed a declining lustre upon the Confederate 
l»attle flag, upon which the sun of victory was about to go 
down forever. General R. E. Lee publicly and repeatedly 
stated that not only Xorth Carolina, but the whole Confed- 
eracy, owed a debt of gratitude to Lane's, Cooke's and Mac- 
Kae's Brigades which could never be repaid. He also wrote to 

212 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

Governor Vance expressing his high appreciation of their 
services. From his letter I make this extract : 

"Headquarteks Army NoRTiiERiS^ Virginia^ 

''August 29, 1864. 
"His Excellency Z. B. Vance. 

Governor of North Carolina, Raleigh : 
"I have frequently been called upon to mention the services 
of North Carolina soldiers in this army, but their gallantry 
and conduct were never more deserving of admiration than in 
the engagement at Reams Station on the 2.5th ultimo. 

"The brigades of Generals Cooke, MacRae and Lane, the 
last under the temporary command of General Conner, ad- 
vanced through a thick abatis of felled trees, under a heavy 
fire of musketry and artillery, and carried the enemy's works 
Avith a steady courage that elicited the warm commendation 
of their corps and division commanders, and the admiration 
of the army. 

"On the same occasion the brigade of General Barringer 
bore a conspicuous part in the operations of the cavalry, 
which were no less distinguished for boldness and efiiciency 
than those of the infantry. 

"If the men w^ho remain in North Carolina share the spirit 
of those they have sent to the field, as I doubt not they do, her 
defence may securely be trusted to their hands. 
'T am, with great respect, 

"Your obedient servant, 

R. E. Lee, 

The regiments from North Carolina engaged in this battle 
again illustrated those high qualities which will perpetuate 
the name and fame of the Confederate soldier in the years 
to come. Unshaken by the fall of Vicksburg and the disaster 
at Gettysburg, undismayed amidst the general gloom which 
was settling upon the fortunes of the South, they exhibited 
the same enthusiasm and valor which had marked their con- 
duct upon every field where they stood for the honor, glory 
and renown of their State. 

Charles M. Stedman". 

Greensboro, N. C, 

25 August, 1901. 



By brigadier-general BRADLEY T. JOHNSON. 

In September, 1864, Early's army was lying about Win- 
chester. We had been through Maryland, and terrified 
Washington into fits, and had gotten safely back into Vir- 
ginia, with thousands of horses, cattle, medical stores and 
hundreds of wag'on loads of edibles of every kind. I had a 
cavah'y brigade of wild, southwestern Virginia horsemen, as 
brave and as undisciplined as the Virginia Rangers Colonel 
Washington surrendered at Fort Xecessity, or Andrews 
fought Cornstalk with at Point Pleasant. I was bivouacked ; 
we had no tents. About three miles north of Winchester, on 
the Valley pike, and picketed from the Valley pike to the 
Berryville pike, running east from Winchester, General Rob- 
ert D. Johnston, of Xorth Carolina, had a brigade of from 
800 to 1,000 muskets on the Berryville pike, on the top of the 
ridge running across the road. My pickets were a mile in 
advance of his in Ash Hollow. vSheridan, with 45,000 in- 
fantry and 10,000 cavalry, lay eight to fifteen miles beyond 
our picket lines, from Berr^wille and Ripon to Charlestown 
and Ilalltown, in Clarke and Jefferson Counties, Va. ITow, 
every morning the Yankee cavalry would rush my pickets in 
on Johnston's posts. He would stop them until I got up, 
and tlien I'd drive the Yankees back and re-establish my orig- 
inal picket posts. This done, I would send my command 
back to camp. 

1 had about eight hundred mounted men, and I would ride 
up to Bob Johnston's headquarters, which was a wagon under 
a tree, one camp stool and a frying pan sizzing with bacon, 
and a pot of rye coffee and sorghum. I'd get my breakfast. 
But after a week of this proceeding it either became monoto- 
nous or my appetite showed no sigTis of weakening. I don't 

214 North Carolina Troops, 1S61-'65. 

know Avliieli. One morning 1 dismounted after my usual 
morning call to boots and saddle, and swung myself very com- 
fortably into Johnston's single and only camp stool. I 
smelled the bacon and sniffed the coffee, and waited. In a 
few moments the cook handed me a chip for a plate and a 
tin cup of reddiot coffee^ — so hot I had to set the cup on the 
grass, when Bob spoke, saying: "Bradley, you let those 
Yankees do you too bad. You have got so scared of them 
that you all run the very lirst dash they make at you." 

"Is that so, Robert V 1 said. "That's a pity, but I don't 
know how to help it. I do the best I can. How many Yan- 
kee cavalry <;l<) you think you are good for ^" 

"Well," said he, "I've got eight hundred muskets present 
for duty. By a week's time, as the boys get back from the 
hospital, I'll have one thousand. Well, with one thousand 
muskets, I think I can take care of live thousand Yanks on 

"All right," said I, "wait and see. I hope you can." 

So I got my breakfast and went off mightily tickled at the 
conceit of the Tar Heel ; for Sheridan's cavalry, with Custer, 
Torbett and Devens, were about as good soldiers as ever took 
horse or drew saber. We had drilled them so that in three 
years we had taught them to ride. They were always drilled 
enough to light, and they learned the use of the saber from 

Well, things went on as usual. Every morning Sheridan 
would send a regiment out to feel Early — to drive in his 
pickets — so as to nu^ke sure wliere he was, and to know where 
to find him ; and every morning I would ride over to the Ber- 
ryville road, re-establish my lines, and get my breakfast off 
of Johnston. 

By daylight 19 September, a scared cavalryman of my 
own command nearly rode over me, as I lay asleep on the 
grass, and reported that the Yankees were advancing with a 
heavy force of infantry, artillery and cavalry up the Berry- 
ville road. Early was up toward Stephenson's depot, and 
Jc)hnston and I were res]ionsible for keeping Sheridan out of 
Winchester and protecting the Confederate line of retreat 
and of conununication up the valley. In two minutes my 

The Thin Gray Line of Tar Heels. 215 

comniand was moiinted (we always saddled up and fed au 
hour before dawn) and moving at a trot across the open fields 
to the Berryville road and to Johnston's assistance. There 
was not a fence nor a house nor a bush nor a tree to obscure 
the view. Away off, more than two miles, we could see the 
crest of the hill covered with a cloud of Yankee cavalry, and 
in front of them (five hundred yards in front) was a thin, 
gray line moving oft" in retreat stolidly, and with perfect cool- 
ness and self-possession. As soon as I got to realize what was 
going on I quickened our gait, and Avhen within a mile broke 
into a gallop. The scene was as plain as day. A regiment 
of cavalry would deploy into line, and then their buglers 
w^ould sound the charge and they would swoop down on the 
thin gray line of iSTorth Carolinians. The instant the Yankee 
bugle sounded, ]^ortli Carolina would halt, face to the rear, 
wait until the horses got within one hundred yards, and then 
fire as deliberately and coolly as if firing volleys on parade 
drill. The cavalry would break and scamper back and North 
Carolina would "about face" and continue her march in re- 
treat as solemnly, stubbornly and with as much discipline and 
dignity as if marching in review. But we got there just in 
time as cavalry aid to the Tar Heels. Certainly half a dozen 
charges had been made at the retreating thin gray line, and 
each and every time the charging squadrons had been driven 
back, when the enemy sent their line with a rush at the bri- 
gade of Tar Heels, and one squadron overlapped the infantry 
line, and w^as just passing it when we got up. In another 
minute they Avould have been behind the line, sabering the 
men from the rear while they were held by the fight in front. 
But we struck a head-long strain and went through the Yan- 
kees by the flank of the North Carolinians, and carried their 
adversaries back to the crest of the hill, back through the 
guns of their battery, clear back to their infantry lines. In 
a moment they rallied, and were charging us in front and on 
both flanks ; and back we went in a hurry, but the thin gray 
line of Old North Carolina was safe. They had gotten back 
to the rest of the infantry and formed lines at right angles to 
the pike west of Winchester. 

I rode up to Bob Johnston, very "pert," as we say in North 

216 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

Carolina, and said : ''Pretty close call that, Mr. Johnston. 
What do you think now of the Yankee cavalry's fighting qual- 
ities V And the rest of the day we enjoyed ourselves. We 
could see everything for miles around. The country was en- 
tirely open. The day was beautiful, clear and bright — 19 
September. They would form for a forward movement — 
three lines, one after another — march sedately along until 
they got within touch of our lines, then raise a hurrah and 
rush in a charge, and in two minutes the field would be cov- 
ered with running, flying Yankees. There were 45,000 in- 
fantry, 10,000 cavalry and 3,000 mounted gunmen. The 
thing began at daylight and kept up till dark, when, flanked 
and worn out. Early retreated to escape being surrounded. 

This is the story of the "Thin Gray Line of North Caro- 
lina," and the cavalry charge, a feat of arjns before which Sir 
Colin Campbell's "Thin Red Line" at Balaklava fades into 
insignificance. y 

Bradley T. Johnson. 

Baltimore, Md., 

19 Sept., 1864. 

Note. — The above is an extract from a very interesting address by 
General Johnson. — Ed. 

« 9 

S o 



o ■•:: 



By its Commander, WILLIAM LAMB, Colonel Thirty Sixth Regiment 
North Carolina Troops. 

The capture of Fort Fisher, X. C, on 15 January, 1865, 
Wcis followed so quickly by the final dissolution of the South- 
ern Confederacy that the great victory was not fully realized 
by the American people. The position commanded the last 
gateway between the Confederate States and the outside 
world. Its capture, with the resulting loss of all the Cape 
Fear river defenses, and of Wilmington, the great importing 
depot of the South, effectually ended all blockade-running. 
General liCe sent me word that Fort Fisher must be held, 
or he could not subsist his army. 

The indentation of the Atlantic Ocean in the Carolina coast 
known as Onslow Bay and the Cape Fear river running south 
from Wilmington form the peninsula known as Federal Point 
which, during the Civil War, was called Confederate Point. 
Xot quite seven miles north of the end of this peninsula stood 
a high sand hill called the '"Sugar Loaf." Here there was 
an intrenched camp for the Army of Wilmington, under Gen- 
eral Braxton Bragg, the department commander, that was 
hid from the sea by forest and sand hills. From this in- 
trenched camp the river bank, with a neighboring ridge of 
sand-dunes, formed a covered way for troops to within a 
hundred yards of the left salient of Fort Fisher. Between 
this road and the ocean beach was an arm of Masonboro 
Sound, and where it ended, three miles north of the fort, 
were occasional fresh-water sAvamps, generally wooded with 
scrub growth, and in many places quite impassable. Along 
the ocean shore was an occasional battery formed from a nat- 
ural sand hill, beliind which Whitworth guns were carried 
from the fort to cover belated blockade-runners, or to protect 

This is reprinted from Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, by 
courtesy of the Century Company, New York. 

218 North Carolina Troops, 1861 -'Go. 

more unfortunate ones that liad been chased ashore. About 
half a mile north of the fort there was a rise in the plain form- 
ing' a hill some twenty feet above the tide on the river side, 
and on this was a redoid)t commanding the approach to the' 
fort by the river road. Thus Xatnre, assisted by some slight 
engineering vork. had given a defense to Confederate Point 
which would have enabled an efficient commander at the in- 
trenched camp, co-operating with the garrison of Fort Fisher, 
to have rendered the Point nntenal)le for a largely superior 
force at night when the covering tire of the Federal navy 
could not distinguish between friend and foe. 

At the land face of Fort Fisher, five miles from the in- 
trenched camp, the peninsula was al)0uthalf a mile wide. 
This face connnenced about a hundred feet from the river 
with a half bastion, and extended Avitli a heavy curtain to a 
full bastion on the ocean side, where it joined the sea face.* 

The wf)rk was built to withstand the heaviest artillery fire. 
There was no moat with scarii and counterscarp, so essential 
for defense against storming ])arties, the shifting sands ren- 
dering its construction im]iossib]e with the material availa- 
ble. The outer slope was 20 feet high from the berme to the 
to|) of the ])arapet, at an angle of 45 degrees, and was sodded 
with marsh grass, which grew luxuriantly. The parapet was 
not less than twenty-five feet thick, with an inclination of only 
one foot. The revetment was five feet nine inches high from 
the floor (:>f the gun chambers, and these were some twelve 
feet or more from the interior ])lane. The guns were all 
mounted en barbette, on Columbiad carriages ; there was not 
a single casemated gun in the fort. Experience had taught 
that casemates of timber and sand bao-s were a delusion and a 

*When I assumed command of Fort Fisher, 4 July, 1863, it was 
composed of several detached earth-works, with a casemated battery of 
sand and palmetto lop;s, mounting four guns and with only one heavy 
gun in the works. The frigate Mumci^ota could have destroyed the 
works and driven us out in a few hours. I immediately went to work, 
and with 500 colored laborers, assisted by the garrison, constructed the 
largest earth-work in the Southern Confederacy, of heavy timbers cov- 
ered by sand from 15 to 20 feet deep and sodded with turf. The fort 
was far from complete when it was attacked, especially as against an as- 
sault by land : the sides exposed to the sea being first constructed, on 
the theory that the Array of Wilmington would prevent an investment. 
— W. L. ^ 

The Defence of Fort Fisher. 219 

suare against heavy projectiles; and there was no iron to 
construct them with. Between the gun-chambers, containing 
one or two guns each (there w^ere twenty heavy guns on the 
land face), there were heavy traverses, exceeding in size any 
known to engineers, to protect from an enfilading fire. They 
extended out some twelve feet on the parapet, and were twelve 
feet or more in height above the parapet, running back thirty 
feet or more. The gun-chambers were reached from the rear 
by steps, hi each traverse was an alternate magazine or 
bomb-proof, the latter ventilated by an air chamber. Pas- 
sageways ]jenetrated the traverses in the interior of the w^ork, 
forming additional l)ond>pr()ofs for the reliefs for the guns. 

The sea face for a hundred yards from the northern bastion 
was of the same massi^'e character as the land face. A cres- 
cent battery inteuded f(.»r four guns, joined this. It had 
been originally built of palmetto logs and tarred sand-bags and 
sand revetted with sod ; but the logs had decayed, and it was 
converted iut<:) a hospital bond>])roof. In its rear a heavy 
curtain was thro^vn u}) to protect the chambers from frag- 
ments of shells. From this bomb-proof a series of batteries 
extended for three-quarters of a mile along the sea, connected 
by an infantry curtain. These batteries had heavy traverses, 
but were not more than ten or twelve feet high to the top of 
the parapets, and were built for riv-<)chet firing. On this 
line was a boud>proof electric battery connected with a sys- 
tem of submarine torjjedoes. Farther along, where the chan- 
nel ran close to the beach, inside the bar, a mound battery 60 
feet high was erected, with two heavy guns, which had a 
pluuiiing fire on the channel; this was connected with the bat- 
tery north of it by a light curtain. Following the line of the 
works, it v/as over one mile from the mound to the northeast 
bastion at the angle of the sea and land faces, and upon this 
line twenty-four heavy guns were mounted. From the mound 
for nearly a mile to the end of the point was a level sand plain 
scarcely three feet above high tide, and much of it was sub- 
merged during gales. At the point was Battery Buchanan, 
four guns, in the shape of an ellipse, commanding the inlet, 
its two 1 1-inch gTins covering the approach by land. It w^as 
garrisoned by a detachment from the Confederate States navy. 

220 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

An advanced redoubt with a 24-ponnder was added after the 
attack by the forces under General Butler and Admiral Por- 
ter on Christinas, 1864. A wharf for large steamers was in 
close proximity to these works. Battery Buchanan was a cit- 
adel to which an overpowered garrison might retreat and with 
proper transportation be safely carried off at night, and to 
which re-enforcements could be sent under cover of darkness. 

Thus Fort Fisher, being designed to withstand the heaviest 
bombardment, was extremely difficult to defend against as- 
sault after its guns were destroyed. The soldiers in the gun- 
chambers could not see the approach in front for a hundred 
feet, and to repel assailants they had to leave all cover and 
stand upon the open parapet. 

As a defense against infantry there was a system of sub- 
terra torj^edoes extending across the peninsula, five to six 
hundred feet from the land face, and so disconnected that the 
explosion of one would not affect the others ; inside the torpe- 
does, about fifty feet from the berme of the work, extending 
from river bank to sea-shore, was a heavy palisade of shar- 
pened logs nine feet high pierced for musketry, and so laid 
out as to have an enfilading fire on the center, where there 
was a redoubt, guard iiig a sally-port, from which two ISTapo- 
leons were run out, as occasion required. At the river end 
of the palisade was a deep and muddy slough, across which 
was a bridge, the entrance of the river road into the fort; 
commanding this l)ridge was a Xapoleon gun. There were 
three mortars in rear of the land face. 

It was after a careful reconnoissance on 25 December, 
1864, having drawn our fire by an advance of his skirmish 
line to within 75 yards of the fort, that General Godfrey 
Weitzel, finding the works substantially uninjured by the ex- 
plosion of the ]>owder ship and the two days' terrific bom- 
bardment of Porter's great armada, reported to Butler that 
the fort could not be carried by assault.* In the works on that 

*General B. F Butler in his report of the operations of his troops, saj'S 
in part : "Brevet Brigadier-General [N. M.] Curtis, who deserves well 
for his gallantry and conduct, immediately pushed up his brigade within 
a few hundred yards of Fort Fisher, capturing the Half-moon battery 
and its men, who were taken off by the boats of the navy. In the mean- 
time the remainder of Araes'.'^' division had captured 218 "men and 10 com- 

The Defence of Fort Fisher. 221 

afternoon were over DOO veteran troops and 450 Junior Ee- 
serves, reinforced after dark by 60 sailors and marines. As 
soon as the fire of the fleet ceased, the parapets were not only 
manned, hut half tlie garrison was stationed outside the 
work behind the palisades. There was no fear of an assault 
in front ; what most disturbed the defenders was a possible 
landing from boats between the Mound Battery and Battery 
Buchanan. Admiral Porter was as much to blame as Gen- 
eral Butler for the repulse.* 

missioned officers of the North Carolina reserves and other prisoners. 
From them I learned that Kirkland's and Hagood's brigades of Hoke's 
division had left the front of the Army of the .Tames, near Richmond, 
and were then within two miles of the rear of my forces, and their skir- 
mishers were then actually engaged, and the remainder of Hoke's divis- 
ion had come the night before to Wilmingtion, and were theji on the 
march, if they had not already arrived. General Weitzel reported to 
me that to a.ssault the work, in liis judgement, and in that of the expe- 
rienced officers of his command who had been on the skirniish-line, 
with any prospect of success, was impossible. This opinion coincided 
with my own, and much as I regretted the necessity of abandoning the 
attempt, yet the path of duty was plain. Not so strong a work as Fort 
Fisher had been taken by assault during the war, and I had to guide me 
the experience of Port Hudson, with its slaughtered thousands in the re- 
pulsed assault, and the double assault of Fort Wagner, where thousands 
were sacrificed in an attempt to take a work less strong than Fisher, 
after it had been subjected to a more continued and fully as severe fire, 
And in neither of the instances I have mentioned had the assaulting 
force in its rear, as I had, an army of the enemy larger than itself. I 
therefore ordered that no assault should be made, and that the troops 
should re-embark." — Editors. 

* General Butler was blamed by contemporaneous writers for not cap- 
turing the works. For this criticism he had himself to blame. On the 
evening of the '2.5th, before waiting for official reports, he listened to 
camp gossip and wrote to Admiral Porter: 

"General Weitzel advanced his skirmish-line within fifty yards of the 
fort, while the garrison was kept in their bombproofs by the fire of the 
navy, and so closely that three or four men of the picket-line ventured 
upon the parapet and through the sally port of the work, ca]ituring a 
horse, which they brought off. killing the orderly, who was the bearer 
of a dispatch from the chief of artillery of General Whiting, to bring a 
light battery witliin the fort, and also brought away from the parapet the 
flag of the fort." 

This piece of romance was sent North, and has gotten a lodgment in 
current history, and is actually repeated by General Grant in his "Me- 
moirs," though General Butler corrected the error in his official report 
of 3 January, I860. No Federal soldier entered Fort Fisher Christmas 
day. except as a prisoner. The courier was sent out of the fort without 
my knowledge, and was killed and his horse captured within the ene- 
my's lines. The flag captured was a small company flag, placed on the 
extreme left of the work, and which was carried away and thrown off the 
parapet by an enfilading shot from the navy. It was during a terrible 

222 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

The garrison of Fort Fisher was composed altogether of 
Xorth Carolinians. For two years and a half the force had 
been nuder my command, and in that time only two compa- 
nies, temporarily there, were from ontside the State. After 
the repnlse of Bntler and Porter, although some important 
guns As-ere destroyed l)y the bombardment and by explosion, 
little or nothing Avas done to repair damages or strengthen the 
armament of the work. Tieqnisitions were made for addi- 
tional ammunition, especially for hand grenades, to repel as- 
sault, but it was impossible to obtain what Avas needed. 
Application was made for the placing of marine torpe- 
does where the iron-clads had anchored, and whither they 
returned, but no action was taken on it. Although we 
heard on 8 January that the fleet had returned to Beau- 
fort, and we knew that Fort Fisher was still its objec- 
tive point, General Braxton Bragg withdrew the support- 
ing army from Sugar Loaf and marched it to a camp sixteen 
miles distant, north of Wilmington, and there had a grand 
review. Tlie f'jrt A\as not even advised of the coming of the 
fleet, whicli should have been seen off Masonboro during the 
day ; and its arrival was reported from Fort Fisher to head- 
quarters in Wilmington. 

The night of 12 January, from the ramparts of Fort Fisher 
I saw the great armada returning. ]\Iy mounted pickets had 
informed me of its coming. I began at once to put my works 
in order for action. I had but 800 men — the Thirty-sixth 
Nm-ih Cai'<;)lina — at least 100 of whom were not fit for duty. 

bombardment of the land-face, when I had ordered my men to cover 
themselves behind parapet and traverses as well as in the bomb proofs. 
Amid the smoke of bursting shells, Captain W. H. Walling, of the 143d 
New York, gallantly crawled through the broken palisade and carried off 
the flag, doing what two or more men could not have done without ob- 
servation. The angle of the work hid him from the sharp-shooters on 
the front, who, from behind traverses, were watching for an advance. 

When Butler's skirmish-line approached I purposely withheld the fire 
of the infantry and artillery until an attack should be made in force. 
Only one gun on the land-face had been seriously disabled, and I could 
have opened a fire of grape and canister on the narrow beach, which no 
troops could have survived. In the second attack by the army, as the 
reader will see, all my heavy guns on the land-face but one "were dis- 
abled ; my torpedoes were useless, and my palisades were so torn up and 
cut down that they furnished a protection to the assailants instead of a 
formidable impediment.— W L. 

The Defence of Fort Fisher. 223 

Sunrise the next niorjiing revealed to lis the most formidable 
armada the world had ever knoAvn, supplemented by trans- 
ports carrvinii' aljont S,.';*)!) troops. Snddenly that long line 
of floating fortresses rained shot and shell, npon fort and 
beach and Avooded hills, causing the very earth and sea to 
tremble. I had telegraphed for reinforcements, and during 
the day and night foll()\\-ing about TOO arrived — companies 
of light and heavy artillery, Xorth Carolina troops, and some 
50 sailors and marines of the Confederate States navy — 
giving me 1,500, all told, up to the morning of 15 January, 
including the sick and slightly Avunnded. On Friday, the 
13tli, in the midst of the Unnbardment, General W. H. C. 
Whiting, the district commander, and his stall", arrived in 
the fort. They had walked up from Battery Buchanan. I 
did not knov; of their ap]U'oach until the general came to me 
on the works and remarked, "Lamb, my boy, 1 have come to 
share your fate. You and your garrison are to be sacri- 
ficed." I replied, "Don't say so. General; we shall certainly 
whip the enemy again.'' He then told me that when he left 
Wilmington General Bragg was hastily removing his stores 
and ammunition, and was looking for a place to fall back 
upon.* I offered him the command, although he came un- 
armed and without orders ; but he refused, saying he would 
counsel with me, Init would leave me to conduct the defense. 
In the former bomljardment the fire of the fleet had been 
difi'use, not calculated to eftect any particular damage, and 
so wild that at least one-third of the missiles fell in the river 
'beyond the fort or in the bordering marshes ; but now the fire 
was concentrated, and the definite object of the fleet was the 
destruction of the land defenses by enfilade and direct fire. 

*In a report to General Lee, dictated at Fort Fisher 18 January, 1865, 
and another (inclosing the tirst one) dated Fort Columbus, New York 
Harbor, 19 February, I860, General Whiting blamed General Bragg 
for the loss of Fort Fisher, and asks that the latter's conduct be investi- 
gated. He says : "I went into the fort with the conviction that it was 
to be sacrificed, for the last I heard General Bragg say, was to point out 
a line to fall back on if Fort Fisher fell " General Hragg was "charged 
with the command and defense of Wilmington," by the Secretary of 
War, on 24 October 1864 ; and General Whiting concludes with a feeling 
reference to the fact that he was not allowed to conduct the defense of 
''a harbor on which I had expended for two years all the labor and skill 
I had." — Editors. 

224 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

and the ships took position accordingly. When attacked in 
December, I had had for my 44 heavy guns and three mortars 
not over 3,600 shot and shell; and for the most effective gun 
in the work, the 150-pounder Armstrong, there were but 13 
shells, and we had no other annnunition that could be used in 
it. The frigates Minnesota and Wabash each had an arma- 
ment superior to ours, and these two vessels alone fired more 
shot and shell at the works in the last attack than we had, all 
told or on hand, in both engagements. During the time be- 
tween the two expeditious we had begged for more ammuni- 
tion, but none came except a few useless bolts designed for the 
Armstrong gun. In the former fight we had fired 1,272 shot 
and shell; leaving about 2,328, exclusive of grape and shrap- 
nel, to resist a passage of the ships and an assault by land. I 
was obliged to husband my ammunition even more than in 
the previous battle, and therefore gave the same orders that 
each gun should be fired only once every half hour until disa- 
bled or destroyed, exee]~)t when special orders were given to 
concentrate on a particular vessel, or in case an attempt were 
made to cross the bar and run in, when every available gun 
should be used Avith all possible effectiveness. It was this 
slow firing from the fort, at times not over forty-four guns 
in thirty minutes, compared to the naval fire of from one to 
two guns a second, that gave the navy the erroneous idea that 
they had silenced the fort. But no attempt was made to run 
by the fort, which was a great surprise to us. Occasionally 
a wooden vessel, more daring than her consorts, would come 
close in, when the guns of several batteries would be concen- 
trated upon her and she would be quickly withdrawn more or 
less injured. 

All day and night on 13 and 14 January the navy con- 
tinued its ceaseless torment ; it was impossible to repair dam- 
ages at night on the land face. The Ironsides and monitors 
bowled their eleven and fifteen inch shells along the parapet, 
scattering shrapnel in the darkness. We could scarcely 
gatlier up and bury our dead without fresh casualties. At 
least two hundred had been killed and wounded in the two 
days since the fight began. Only three or four of my land 
guns were of any service. The Federal army had been ap- 

The Defence of Fort Fisher. 225 

preaching on the river side during the day ; but they were 
more or less covered by the formation of the land, and we 
con Id only surmise their number. I had seen them pass 
Craig's Landing near mj cottage and occupy the redoubt about 
half a mile from the fort. We had tired some shot and shell 
at their approaching columns, but it was at a fearful cost of 
limb and life that a land gun was discharged; for to fire from 
that face was to draw upon the gunners the fury of the fleet. 
Early in the afternoon, to my astonishment, I saw a Confed- 
erate flat-bottomed steam transport, loaded \vith stores, ap- 
proaching Craig's Landing, which was now in the enemy's 
lines. 1 had a gun fired toward her to warn her off, but on 
she came, unconscious of her danger, and she fell an easy ca])- 
tive in the enemy's hands. Shortly after, the Confederate 
steamer Cliicl'atiunifja. which had been annoying the enemy 
from the river, fired into and sank the stu})id craft. This in- 
cident gave me the lirst intimation that we were deserted. 
From the conformation of the Cape Fear river. General 
Bragg could have ])asscd safely froivi Sugar Loaf toward 
Smithville, and with a glass could have seen everything on 
the beach and in the fort, and in person or through an aide, 
with the steamers at his conunand, could have detected every 
movement of the enemy; but now, thirty-six hours after the 
fight had commenced, several hours after Craig's Landing 
had been in the possession of the enemy, he sent into the en- 
emy's lines a steamer full of sorely needed stores, which at 
night could have gone to Battery Buchanan in safety. We liad 
both telegraphic and signal communication between Fort 
Fisher and Sugar Loaf, Bragg's headquarters, and I got Gen- 
eral Whiting to telegraph him to attack the enemy under cover 
of night when the fleet could not co-operate, and we would do 
the same from the fort, and that thus we could capture a por- 
tion or the whole of the force, or at least demoralize it. jSTo 
reply was received. Still I thought General Bragg could 
not fail to respond ; so, after the dead were buried, ten com- 
panies were put in readiness for a sortie, and I carried Cap- 
tain Patterson's company out in front of the work beyond the 
]ialisade line and the range of the enemy's fire, and threw 
them out as skirmishers with orders to disco^^er the position 

226 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

■t)f the enemy. We found none on the sea shore within half 
a mile, luit on the river shore they were occupying the re- 
doul)t, wliero tlieir skirmishers extended toward the left of 
the fort. Some of them fired on us, but we remained there 
awaiting' a message from Bragg, or the sound of his guns from 
the north, hut in vain, and before daylight we retired to the 

With llie rising sun, on the 15tli, the fleet, which had been 
annoying us all through the night, redoulded its fire on the 
land face. The sea was calm, the naval gunners had become 
accurate by practice, and before noon but one heavy gun, pro- 
tected by the angle of the northeast bastion, remained ser- 
viceable on that face. The harvest of wounded and dead was 
increased, and at noon I had not 1,200 men to defend the long- 
line of works. The enemy were now preparing to assault ; 
Ave saw their skirmish line on the left digging rifle pits close 
to our torpedo lines and their columns along the river shore 
massing for the attack, while their sharpshooters were firing 
upon every head that showed itself upon our front. Despite 
the imminent danger to the gttnners I ordered the two Napo- 
leons at the central sally-port and the Napoleon on the left to 
fire grape and canister tt]ion the advancing skirmish line. 
They fearlessly obeyed the order, and with effectiveness, but 
at a sad sacrifice in killed and wounded. At the same time 
on ihe ocean side a cohtmn composed of sailors and marines 
was seen to apj^roach, the ach^ance throwing up slight trenches. 
On these we brought to bear otir single heavy gttn, while the 
two guns on the mound battery turned their attention from 
the sailors afloat to the sailors on shore, but at too long range 
to be very eftective. Ilagood's Brigade, sent by Bragg, was 
now arriving at Battery Bticluman, but the steamer bearing 
tbem was driven olf by the fire of the fleet after it had suc- 
-ceeded in landing tAvo South Carolina regiments, Avhich came 
at a doable-quick to the mound under a heavy fire. The mtm- 
ber of these reinforcements Avas reported to me by the officer 
in command as 350. They reached the fort less than thirty 
minutes before tbe attacking columns came like avalanches 
itjjon our rigbt and left. The South Carolinians Avere ottt 
of breath and more or less disorganized and demoralized by 



The Defence of Fort Fisher. 227 

the oi'deal throiigli wliicli, by Bragg's neglect, they had been 
forced to jmss. I sent them to an old commissary bomb- 
proof to recover .breath. 

^ly lieadqnarters during the tight were the pulpit battery 
on the sea face, one hundred yards from the northeast salient 
find adjoining the hospital bomb-proof, commanding the best 
view of the aj^] roaches to the land face. At 2:30, as I was 
returning froin anotlier battery, Private Arthur Muldoon, one 
of my lookouts, called to me, "Colonel, the enemy are about 
to charge.'' I informed General Whiting, who was near, 
find at my request he immediately telegraphed General Bragg, 
fit "Sugar Loaf" : 

"The enemy are about to assault ; they outnumber us heav- 
ily. We are just manning our parapets. Fleet have ex- 
tended down the sea front outside and are firing very heavily. 
Fnemy on the l)each in front of us in very heavy force, not 
more than seven hundred yards from us. Xearly all land 
guns disabled. Attack ! Attack I It is all I can say and 
all you can do."'^ 

I then ])assed hurriedly down in rear of the land face and 
through the galleries, and although the fire of the fleet was 
terrific, I knew it must soon cease, and I ordered additional 
sharpshooters to the gun-chambers with instructions to pick 
oif the officers in the assaulting columns, and directed the 
battery commanders to form their detachments and rush to 
the top of the parapets when the firing stopped and drive the 
assailants back. As I returned, I instructed the squads that 
were fornang under cover to rally to the parapets as soon as 
the order should be given, to which they responded with en- 
thusiasm. I had determined to allow the assailants to reach 
the berme of the work before exploding a line of torpedoes, be- 
lieving it would enable us to kill or capture the first line, 
while destroying or demoralizing their supporting lines of as- 
sault. I had not fjuite reached my headquarters when the 
roar of artillery suddenly ceased, and instantly the steam- 
whistles of the vast fleet sounded a charge. It was a soul- 
stirring signal botli to besiegers and besieged. 

*The original, in Wliiting's handwriting, is in possession of Dr. Geo. 
X/. Porter, Bridgeport, Conn. — W. L. 

228 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

I ordered my aide. Lieutenant Charles H. Blocker, to 
double-qnick the Twenty-first and Twenty-fifth Soutli Caro- 
lina to reinforce Major James Reilly, whom I had put in com- 
mand on the left, while I went to the northeast salient, which 
I believed to be the vital point of the work and the one which 
needed most protection. I rallied there the larger portion of 
the garrison of the main work, putting 300 men on top of 
the bastion and adjoining parapets and holding some 200 
more in the adjoining batteries. About 250 remained for de- 
fense on the left, to which I supposed the 350 South Caro- 
linians wonld immediately be added, and these with the Na- 
poleon and the torpedoes F felt sure would successfully defend 
that portion of the work. The assaulting line on the right 
was directed at the angle or point of the L, and consisted of 
two thousand sailors and marines,* the greater portion of 
whom had Hanked my tor]^edo lines by keeijing close to the 
sea. Ordering the mound battery, and any other on the sea 
face that could do so, to fire upon them, and the two Napo- 
leons at the sally-port to join our Columbiad in pouring grape 
and canister into their ranks, I held in reserve the infantry 
fire. Whiting stood upon the brink of the parapet inspiring 
those about him. The sailors and marines reached the berme 
and some sprang up the slope, but a murderous fire greeted 
them and swept them down. Volley after volley was poured 
into their faltering i-anks by c<:)ol, determined men, and in 
half an hour several hundred dead and wounded lay at the 
foot of the bastion. The bravery of the officers could not re- 
strain their men from ]ianic and retreat, and with small loss 
to ourselves we witnessed what had never been seen before, a 
disorderly rout of American sailors and marines. Had the 
fleet lielped their own column as they did afterward that of 
the army, theirs would have been the glory of victory. 

x\s our shouts of trium]ih went up I turned to look at the 
western salient, and saw, to my astonishment, three Federal 

*Secretary Welles, in his report of the Navy Department, 4 Decem- 
ber, 180o, says: "Fourteen hundred sailors and marines were landed 
and participated in the direct assault"; but Admiral Porter in his report, 
dated off Fort Fisher, 17 January, l>s6o, says: ' I detailed 1,600 sailors 
and 400 marines to accompany the troops in the assault — the sailors to- 
board the sea- face, while the troops assaulted the land side." — Editor. 

The Defence of Fort Fisher. 229 

battle flags upon our ramparts. General Whiting saw them 
at the same moment, and, calling on the men to pull down 
those flags and drive the enemy from the work, rushed toward 
them on the paraj^et. Among those who followed Whiting, 
and who gave his young life upon those ramparts, I must 
mention the brave Lieutenant Williford, who commanded 
the Blakely Battery. 

In order to make a careful reconnoissance of the position 
of the enemy, I passed thi-ough the sally-port, and outside 
of the work witnessed a savage hand-to-hand conflict for the 
possession of the fourth gun-chamber from the left bastion. 
My men, led by Whiting, had driven the standard-bearer 
from the to]) of the traverse and the enemy from the parapet 
in. front. They had recovered the gun-chamber with great 
slaughter, and on the parapet and on the long traverse of the 
next gun-chamber the contestants were savagely firing into 
each other's faces, and in some cases clubbing their guns, 
being too close to load and fire. Whiting had quickly been 
wounded by two shots and had been carried to the hospital 
bomb-proof. I saw that the Confederates were exposed not 
only to the fire in front, but to a galling infantry fire from 
the captured salient. I saw also a fresh force pouring into 
the left of the work, noAv offering no resistance. T doubt if 
ever before the commander of a work went outside of it and 
looked back upon the conflict for its possession; but from the 
peculiar construction of the works it was necessary to do so 
in order to see the exact position of affairs. I was in front 
of the sally-])0] t and concealed from the army by a fragment 
of the ])ah"sade." 

Ordering Captain Z. T. Adams to turn his j^apoleons on 
the column moving into the fort (the gallant Mayo had 
already t\irned his Columbiad upon them), I returned into 
the work, and, ])lacing men behind every cover that could be 
found, poured at close range a deadlier fire into the flank of 

*I was told, several years after the war, by a United States marine 
named Clark, that I was distinctly seen and recognized by a comrade 
and himself who had feigned death in front of the north-east salient, 
and that his comrade rose from his place of concealment to shoot 
me. but before he could fire was shot in the head by a soldier in the 
fort. I never thought of danger from that direction. — W. L. 

230 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

the enemy occupying the gun-chambers and traverses than 
they were able to deliver upon my men from the left salient. 
While thus engaged I met my aide, who informed me that the 
South Carolinians had failed to respond to my order, al- 
though their officers had pleaded with them, and with a few 
of them had gone into the fight; that the assaulting column 
had made two distinct charges upon the extreme left and had 
been repulsed by the fire of the JSTapoleon and by the in- 
fantry ; that the torjiedo wires had been cut by the fire of the 
fleet and the electrician had tried in vain to execute my or- 
ders ; that, driven from the extreme left, the enemy had found 
a weak defense betAveen the left salient and the sally-port in 
their third charge, and had gained the parapet and, capturing 
two gun-chandjers, had attacked the force in the left bastion 
on the flank, simultaneously -with a direct charge of a fresh 
column, and that our men after great slaughter, especially 
those at the ]^apoleon, had been forced to surrender just as 
we had repulsed the naval column ; that to add to the discom- 
fiture of the Confederates, as soon as the Federal battle flags 
appeared on the ramparts. Battery Buchanan had opened 
with its two heavy guns on the left of the work, killing and 
vrounding friend and foe alike. Major Reilly had failed to 
lead the men to the top of the parapet on the right of the west- 
ern salient, firing instead from the two gun-chambers on the 
assailants, who were not within range until they reached the 
parapet. Had the parapet been manned by fifty determined 
men at this point, I do not believe the enemy could have got 
into the fort before reinforcements had arrived. Keilly was 
a veteran soldier, and showed his indomitable courage later 
in the day, but his mistake was fatal. This was dishearten- 
ing, but I told Captain Blocker if we could hold the enemy in 
check until dark I would then drive them out. and I sent a 
telegram by him to Bragg, imploring him to attack, and say- 
ing that I could still save the fort. 

JN'otwithstanding the loss of a portion of the work and a 
part of the garrison, the men were in good spirits and seemed 
determined to recover the fort. We had retaken one gun- 
chamber in the charge on the parapet, and since we had 
opened on their flank we had shot down all their standard- 

The Defence of Fort Fisher. 231 

bearers, and the Federal battle flags had disappeared from 
our ramparts. I was encouraged to believe that before sun- 
down we could recover all the gun-chambers to the east of 
the western salient. Just as the tide of battle seemed to have 
turned in our favor the remorseless fleet came to the rescue 
of the faltering Federals. Suddenly the bombardment, which 
had been confined to the sea face, turned again on our land 
front, and with deadly precision ; the iron-clads and heavy 
frigates drove in our Xapoleons and exploded shells in the in- 
terior of the sally-port, which had heretofore escaped. They 
also swept the gun-chamber occupied by Confederates in front 
of those occupied by the enemy, and their shells rolled down 
within the works and exploded in most unexpected quarters, 
preventing even company formation. They drove from the 
front of the enemy all assailants except those so near that to 
have fired on them would have been to slaughter the Fed- 

We had now to contend with a column advancing around 
the rear of the left bastion into the interior plane of the fort. 
It moved slowly and cautiously, ap]3arently in column of com- 
panies and in close order. I met it Avith an effective infantry 
fire, my men using the remains of an old work as a breast- 
work and taking advantage of every object that would afford 
cover, for we were now greatly outnumbered. The fire was 
so unexpected and destructive on the massed columns of the 
Federals, that they halted when an advance would have been 
fatal to us. With orders to the officers to dis])ute stul)bornly 
any advance until my return, I went rapidly to the extreme 
southern limit of my work and turned the two mound guns 
on the column in the fort. As I passed the different batteries 
I ordered the guns turned on the assailants, but on returning 
foiuid that only two besides those on the mound would bear 
upon them, and these had to be fired over my men. I or- 
dered them, notwithstanding, to be fired carefully with prop- 
erly cut fuses, which was done, but it made some of my men 
very nervous. 1 brought back with me to the front every 
man except a single detachment for each gnu. I was gone 
from the fort at least thirty minutes, and on my return found 
the fio-htins: still continuina' over the same traverse for the 

232 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

possession of the anm-cliamber, despite the fire of the fleet. 
As my men would fall others wonld take their places. It 
was a soldier's fight at that point, for there conld be no or- 
ganization : the officers of both forces were loading and firing 
with their men. If there has ever been a longer or more 
stubborn hand-to-hand encounter, I have failed to meet with 
it in history. The Federal column inside had advanced no 
farther, and seemed demoralized by the fire of the artillery 
and the determined resistance of the garrison. I had brought 
back with me moi"e than a hundred of my old garrison, and I 
threw them in front with those already engaged. Those who 
had been driven from the parapet had taken position behind 
the old work. I went to the bomb-proof where the South 
Carolinians were and appealed to them to help save the fort; 
they were in a position to flank a part of the column, and they 
promised to do so. I proceeded to the sally-port and ordered 
the gallant Adams to bring his guns out and open fire on the 
head of the column, and if he had not men left to serve the 
guns to get volunteers from other companies. I went along 
the galleries and begged the sick and wounded who had re- 
treated from the caiitured bomb-proofs to come and make one 
supreme effort to dislodge the enemy. As I passed through 
my work the last time, the scene was indescribably horrible. 
Great cannon were broken in two, and over their ruins were 
lying the dead ; others were partly buried in graves dug by 
the shells which liad slain them. 

Still no tidings from Bragg. The enemy's advance had 
ceased entirely ; protected by the fleet, they held the parapet 
and gun-chambers, but their massed columns refused to move 
and appeared to be intrenching in the work. I believed a de- 
termined assault with the bayonet upon their front would 
drive them out. I had cautioned the gunners not to fire on 
our men, and had sent liieutenant Jones, of the navy, to 
Battery Buchanan, asking for all the force they could spare, 
aud to 1)0 careful not to fire on us if we became closely en- 
gaged witli the enemy. The head of the column was not over 
one hundred feet from the portion of our breastwork which I 
occupied ; I passed quickly in rear of the line and asked the 
officers and men if they would follow me ; they all responded 

The Defence of Fort Fisher. 233 

fearlessly that tliey would. T returned to my ])ost, and, giv- 
ing the order ''Charge bayonets," sprang upon the breast- 
work, waved my sword, and, as I gave the command ''For- 
ward ! doul)le-quiek, march!" fell on my knees, a rifle ball 
having entered my left hip. We were met by a heavy vol- 
ley, aimed too high to be effective ; but our column wavered 
and fell back behind the breastworks. A soldier raised me 
up ; 1 turned the command over to Captain Daniel Munn and 
told him to keep the enemy in check, and that I would band- 
age my wound and soon return. Before I could reach the 
hospital I was made to realize that I was incapacitated from 
joining my men again. In the hospital I found General 
Wliiting suffering uncomplainingly from his two wounds. 
He told me that Bragg liad ignored his presence in the fort 
and had not noticed his messages. I perceived that the fire 
of my men had slackened, and sent my Acting Adjutant, 
John K^. Kelly, for Major Reilly, next in command (Major 
James M. Stevenson being too ill for service. ) Reilly came 
and promised me that he would continue the fight as long as 
a man or a shot was left, and nobly did he keep his promise. 
I again sent a message to Bragg begging him to come to the 
rescue. Shortly after my fall the Federals made an advance, 
and, capturing several more of the gun-chainbers, reached the 
sally-port. The column in the work advanced, but Major 
Eeilly, rallying the men, among them the South Carolinians, 
who had all l^ecome engaged, drove them liack. About 8 
o'clock at night my aide came to me and said the ammunition 
was giving out ; tliat he and Chaplain McKinnon had gath- 
ered all on tlie dead and wounded in a blanket and had dis- 
tributed it ; that the enemy had ]:)ossession of nearly all of the 
land face ; that it was impossible to hold out much longer, and 
suggested that it would be wise to surrender, as a further 
struggle midit l)e a useless sacrifice of life. I replied that 
so long as 1 lived I would not surrender the fort ; that Bragg 
must soon come to the rescue, and it would save us. General 
Whiting remarked, "Lamb, when you die I will assume com- 
mand, and I will not surrender the fort." In less than an 
hour a fourth brigade (three were already in the fort under 
General Ames) entered the sally-port and swept the defenders 

234 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

from the remainder of the land face. Major Reilly had 
General Whiting and myself hurriedly removed on stretchers 
to Battery Buchanan, where he purposed to make a stand. 
When we left the hospital the men were fighting over the ad- 
joining traverse and the spent balls fell like hail-stones 
around us. The garrison then fell back in an orderly retreat 
along the sea face, the rear-guard keeping the enemy engaged 
as they advanced sloAvly and cautiously in the darkness as 
far as the Mound Battery, where they halted. Some of the 
men, cut off from the main body, had to retreat as best they 
could over the river marsh, while some few unarmed artil- 
lerists barely eluded the enemy by following the seashore. 
When we reached Battery Buchanan there was a mile of level 
beach between us and our pursuers, swept by two 11-inch 
guns and a 24-pounder, and in close proximity to the battery, 
a commodious wharf where transports could have come to 
carry the men off. AVe ex])ected to cover with this battery 
the retreat of the remnant of- the garrison, but we found the 
guns spiked, and every means of , transportation, even the 
barge and crew of the colonel Commanding, taken by Cap- 
tain K. F. Chapman, of our navy, who following the example 
of General Bragg, had abandoned us to our fate. None of 
the guns of Tort Fisher were spiked, the men fi.ghting them 
until they were destroyed or their defenders were killed, 
wounded, or driven out of the batteries by overwhelming 
numljers. The enemy threw out a heavy skirmish line and 
sent their fourth brigade to Battery Buchanan, where it ar- 
rived about 10 p. m., and received the surrender of the gar- 
rison from Major James H. Hill and Tieutenant George D. 
Parker. Some fifteen minutes or more l)efore the surrender, 
while lying on a stretcher near General Whiting in front of 
the battery, and witnessing the grand pyrotechnic display of 
the fleet over the ca]Uure of Fort Fisher, I Avas accosted by 
General A. H. Colquitt, who had been ordered to the fort to 
take command. I had a few moments' hurried conversation 
with him. informed him of the assault, of the early loss of 
a portion of the work and garrison, and that when I fell it 
had for a time demoralized the men, Imt that the enemy was 
equally demoralized by our unexpected resistance ; and I as- 

,roR, uOWK ••• 


The Defence of Fort Fisher. 235 

siired him that if Bragg would even tlieu attack, a fresh bri- 
gade landed at Battery Buchanan could retake the work. 
Some officer suggested that the general should take me with 
him, as I was probably fatally wounded, but I refused to 
leave, wishing to share the fate of my garrison ; and desir- 
ing that my family, anxiously awaiting tidings across the 
river, where they had watched the battle, should not be 
alarmed, I spoke lightly of my wound. I asked him to carry 
General Whiting to a place of safety, as he had come to the 
fort a volunteer. Just then the approach of the enemy was 
reported, and Colquitt made a precipitate retreat, leaving 
Whiting behind.'^ 

One more distressing scene remains to be chronicled. The 
next morning after sunrise a frightful explosion occurred in 
my reserve magazine, killing and wounding several hun- 
dred of the enemy and some of my own wounded officers and 
men. The magazine was a frame structure 20 x 60 feet and 
6 feet high, covered with IS feet or more of sand, luxuriantly 
turfed, and contained probably 13,000 pounds of powder. 
It made an artificial mound most inviting to a wearied sol- 
dier, and after the fight was occupied for the night by Colonel 
Alden's One Hundred and Sixty-ninth j^ew York and by 
souie of my suffering soldiers. Two sailors from the fleet, 
stupefied by liquor which they had found in the hospital, and 
looking for booty, were seen to enter the structure with lights, 
and a moment after the green mound blew up. The tele- 
graph -wires, running from a bomb-proof near this magazine 
across the river to Battery Laml), gave rise to the impression 
that it had been ])urposely exploded from the opposite shore, 
but an official investigation traced it to the drunken sailors. 

So stoutly did those works resist the 50,000 shot and shell 
thrown against them in the two bombardments that not a 
magazine or bomb-proof was injured, and after the land ar- 
mament, with palisades and torpedoes, had been destroyed, 
no assault would have been practicable in the presence of 
Bragg's force, had it been under a competent officer. One 

*General Whiting died a prisoner at Fort Columbus, New York Har- 
bor, March 10th, 1865. 

236 North Carolina Troops, 1861 -'65. 

thousand tons of iron were gathered by the United States 
from the works. 

Had there been no fleet to assist the army at Fort Fisher 
the i ederal infantry could not have dared assault it until its 
land defenses liad been destroyed by gradual approaches. 
For the first time in the history of sieges the land defenses 
of the works were destroyed, not by any act of the besieging 
"army, but by the concentrated fire, direct and enfilading, of 
an immense fleet poured upon them without intermission,^ 
until torpedo wires were cut, palisades breached so that they 
actually afforded cover for assailants, and the slopes of the 
work were rendered practicable for assault. 


In a note to the editor Colonel Lamb in writing of the 
repulse of Butler and Porter in December, says : 

''The guns of Fort Fisher were not silenced. On account 
of a limited sup})ly of ammunition, T gave orders to fire each 
gun not more than once in thirty minutes, except by special 
order, unless an attem]>t should l)e made to run by the fort, 
when discretion was given each gun commander to use liis 
piece efteetiA'ely. There were forty -four guns. On 2-t De- 
cember 672 shots were expended ; a detailed report was re- 
ceived from each battery. Only three guns were rendered 
unserviceable, and these by the fire of the fleet disabling the 
carriages. On 25 December six hundred shots were ex- 
pended, exclusive of grape and canister. Detailed reports 
were made. Five guns were disabled by the fire of the fleet, 
making eight in all. Besides, two T-inch Brooke rifled guns 
exploded, leaving thirty-four heavy guns on Christmas night. 
The last guns on the 24th and 25th were fired by Fort Fisher 
on the retiring fleet. In the first- fight the total casualties 
were 61, as follows: December 24th, mortally wounded, 1; 
seriously wounded, 3; slightly, lU — 23. December 25th, 
killed, 3; mortally wounded, 2; severely, 7; slightly, 26, 
These included those wounded by the exjilosion of the Brooke 
rifled guns— 38." 

Colonel Lamb, writing, December, ISS*^, says: 

"There were never in Fort Fisher, including sick, killed, 

The Defence of Fort Fisher. 237 

and wounded, over 1,!)00 men. The sailors and marines, 
etc., cajJtured from Battery Buchanan, and those captured in 
front of the work, while swelling the list of prisoners, cannot 
rightly be counted among the defenders of the work. ISTo 
new defense was added to the face of the fort between the bat- 
tles. The redr)ubt in front of the sally-port was there in 
Decendier and had been used against Butler's skirmish line." 

Colonel Lamb, writing to the editor on the subject of the 
numbers defending the northeast salient, says : 

"Five hundred effective men will cover all engaged in re- 
pulsing the naval column, and the destructive fire was from 
tlie three hundred, who, from the top of the ramparts and 
traverses, fired upon the assailants. The gallant navy need 
not exaggerate the number ojjposing them, assisted by the 
artillery. Xo apology or defense is necessary to excuse the 
repulse. The unorganized and im])ro}»erly armed force 
failed to enter the fort, but their gallant attempt enabled the 
army to enter and olitain a foothold, which they otherwise 
could not have done." 


13-15, 1865. 


Majoe-General Ai^fred H. Terry — Commanding. 
Second Division, Twenty-fourtji Army Corps — Brig- 
adier-General Adelhert Ames. 

First Bri<iad(' — Colonel X. ]\lartin Curtis: Third Xew 
York, Captain James H. Reeve, Lieutenant Edwin A. Be- 
han ; One Hundred and Twelfth Xew York, Colonel John F. 
Smith ; One Hundred and Seventeenth Xew York, Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Franxis X. Meyer ; One Hundred and Forty-sec- 
ond Xew York, Lieutenant-Colonel Albert M. Barney. 

Second Brigade — Colonel Galusha Pennypacker, Major 
Oliver P. Harding: Forty-seventh Xew York, Captain 
Josej)h M. McDonald ; Forty-eighth Xew Y'ork, Lieutenant- 

238 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

Colonel William B. Coaii, Major jSTere A. Elfwing; Seventy- 
sixth Pennsylvania, Colonel John S. Littell, Major Charles 
Knerr; jSTinety-seventh Pennsylvania, Lieutenant John 
Wainwright; Two Hundred and Third Pennsylvania, Colo- 
nel John \V. ]\roore, Lieutenant-Colonel Jonas W. Lyman, 
Major Oliver P. Harding, Captain Ileber B. Essington. 

Third Brigade — Colonel Louis Bell, Colonel Alonzo Al- 
den : Thirteenth Indiana, Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel M. 
Zent ; Fourth Xew Hampshire, John H. Roberts ; One Hun- 
dred and Fifteenth ^ew York, Lieutenant-Colonel ISTathan 
J. Johnson ; One Hundred and Sixty-ninth j^ew York, Col- 
onel Alonzo Alden, Lieutenant-Colonel James A. Colvin. 

Second Brigade, First Division — (temporarily attached to 
Second Division), Colonel Joseph C. Abbott: Sixth Con- 
necticut, Colonel Alfred P. Rockwell ; Seventh Connecticut, 
Captain John Thompson, Captain William S. Marable ; 
Third ISTew Hampshire, Captain William H. Trickey ; Sev- 
enth New Hampshire, Lieutenant-Colonel Augustus W. Rol- 
lins; Sixteenth Xew York Heavy Artillery (detachment), 
Lieutenant F. F. Huntington. 

Third Division^ Twenty-fifth Army Corps (colored 
troops) — Brigadier-General Charles J. Paine. 

Second Brigade — Colonel John W. Ames: Fourth 
United States, Jjieutenant-Colonel George Rogers ; Sixth 
United States, Major A. S. Boernstein ; Thirtieth United 
States, Lieutenant-Colonel H. A. Oakman; Thirty-ninth 
United States, Colonel O. P. Stearns. 

Third Brigade — Colonel Elias Wright : First United 
States, Lieutenant-Colonel Giles H. Rich ; Fifth United 
States, Major William R. Brazie; Tenth United States, 
I^ieutenant-Colonel Edward LI. Powell; Twenty-seventh 
United States, Colonel A. M. Blackmail ; Thirty-seventh 
United States, Colonel Nathan Goff, Jr. 

Artillery — B, G, and L, First Connecticut Heavy, Cap- 
tain William G. Pride ; Sixteenth New York Battery, Cap- 
tain Richard H. Lee ; E, Third United States, Lieutenant 
John R. Myrick. 

Engineers — A, and I, Fifteenth New York, Lieutenant K. 
S. O'Keefe. 

The Defence of Fort Fisher. 239 

The effective strength of the force above enumerated was 
nearly 8,000. The loss aggregated 184 killed, 749 wounded, 
and 22 missing — 955. By the explosion of a magazine the 
day after the eaptnre there were 25 killed, 06 wounded, and 
13 missing. 


GenePvAT. Braxtok Bragg — D<i,artiiient Commander. 

Major-Gexeral W. H. C. Wh.tixg — District Com- 

Defences^ Mouth of Cape Fear Rtver — Brigadier- 
General Louis Hebert. 


There were in Fort Fisher on 13, 14 and 15 January, 
1805, these include all present during that time, sick, killed 
and wounded. 

WiLEiAM Lam:b, of Virginia, Colonel Commanding. 

Major James M. Stevenson, of Thirty-sixth Xorth Car- 
olina Regiment (too ill for duty). 

Ma.jor James Beiely, of Tenth ISTorth Carolina Regi- 

Captain George D. Parker,, Adjutant, on special duty. 

Lieutenant John N. Kelly, Company B, Thirty-sixth 
K'orth Carolina Regiment, Acting Adjutant. 

Lieutenant Ciiari-es H. Blocker, Aide to Colonel Com- 

Thirty-sixth North Carolina Regiment, Captain R. 
J. Murphy, Company A, 75 ; Captain Dan Munn, 
Company B, 90 ; Captain K. J. Braddy, Company C, 
71 ; Captain E. B. Dudley, Company D, 70 ; Captain 
O. H. Pow-ell, Company E, 75 ; Lieutenant E. L. 
Hunter, Acting Captain Company F, 100 ; Captain 
Wm. Swaine, Company G, 75 ; Captain Daniel Pat- 
terson, Company H, 75 ; Captain J. F. Melvin, Com- 
pany I, 90 ; Captain Wm. F. Brooks, Company K, 
75; total... \... 796 

240 North Carolina Troops, 1861 -'65. 

Fortieth Xortli Carolina Regiment (fonr companies), 
Cai^tain Jas. L. Lane, Company D, 01 ; Captain M. H. 
]\IcBrvde, Company E, 00 ; Captain Geo. C. Buchan, 
Company G, 00 ; Captain D. -T. Clarke, Company 
K, 65 ; total \ 336 

Tenth Xorth Carolina Regiment (two companies), Cap- 
tain E. D. Walsh, Company E, 5.") : Captain Wm. 
SliaAv, Company K, 65 ; total 1:^0 

First Xorth Carolina Battalion, Captain Jas. L. McCor- 
mick. Company D ; total SO 

Third Xorth Carolina Battalion, Captain Jno. M. Sut- 
t( m. Company C -15 

Thirteenth Xorth Carolina Battalion, Captain Z. T. 
Adams, Company D 60 

Xaval Detachment, sailors and marines. Captain A. C. 
Vanbenthnsen 60 

Twenty-first South Carolina Regiment, Captain Diibose, 
and Twenty-fifth South Carolina Regiment, Captain 
Carson, of Hagood's Bridge; total 350 

Surgeons, Spiers W. Singleton ; Assistant Surgeon, Pow- 
hatan Bledsoe, with band as ambulance corps, includ- 
ing all field and staff officers and volunteers, officers, 
cooks and other detailed men, not over 53 

Grand total 1,000 

Major-General Whiting, ]\Iajor James H. Hill, Assistant 
Adjutant-General, Avith others on Whiting's staff, were in 
the fort as volunteers. 

General Braxton Bragg in his otticial report, made from 
Headquarters, Department of Xorth (Carolina, Wilmington, 
X. C, 20 January, 1865, gives the garrison 1,800 men; to 
which he says he added 500, making 2,300. 

In same report he says: ''Eort Fisher had 110 commis- 
sioned officers and 2,400 or 2,500 men." 

There had 1,550 officers and men re])orted in Fort Fisher 
up to 15 January, 1865. Hagood's Brigade, 1,000 strong, 
was sent Ijy Bragg on that day, but only 350 landed and re- 
ported ; this made 1,000. Had all landed, Bragg would have 
been about correct. 

The Defence of Fort Fisher. 241 

General Bragg's reports of Fort Fisher, its garrison and 
their defence are grossly inaccurate. 

Battery Baclianan — Captain R. F. Chapman, C. S. N. 

Hoke's Division, Major-General Robert F. Hoke. 

Clingvians Brigade — Eighth Xorth Carolina, Thirty-first 
IvTorth Carolina, Fifty-first North Carolina, Sixty-first N'orth 

Colquitt's Brigade — Brigadier-General A. H. Colquitt: 
Sixth Georgia, Colonel T. J. Lofton ; Nineteenth Georgia, 
Twenty-third Georgia, Twenty-seventh Georgia, Twenty- 
eighth Georgia. 

Hagood's Brigade — Eleventh South Carolina, Twenty- 
first South Carolina, Twenty-fifth South Carolina, Twenty- 
seventh South Carolina, Seventh South Carolina Battalion. 

Kirhland' s Brigade — Seventeenth North Carolina, Forty- 
second North Carolina, Sixty-sixth North Carolina.* 

Cavalry — Second South Carolina, Colonel T. J. Lipscomb. 

According to General Bragg's ofiicial report the garrison 
of Fort Fisher finchiding reinforcements from the adjacent 
forts) numbered 1,800, and the movable force under Gen- 
eral Hoke, including reserves and cavalry, was about 6,000. 
In regard to the losses, the same authoritity says: ''After 
the enemy entered the fort our loss is represented to have 
been about 500 killed and wounded." 

General Terry reported the capture of 112 officers and 
1,071 men, but this was incorrect or possibly included pris- 
oners from other commands. After the war Colonel Lamb 
tried to ascertain the number of prisoners sent north from 
Fort Fisher, but found no data and the numbers of prisoners 
were generally estimated except in an exchange. All present 
in Fort Fisher 13-15 January, including sick, killed and 
wounded, numbered 1,900. 


Rear Admiral David D. Porter^ Commanding. 
Lieutenant-Commander K. R. Breese^ Fleet Captain. 
Lieutenant M. W. Sanders^, Signal Officer. 

Note —The Fiftieth North Carolina of this brigade was absent in 
South Carolina.— Ed. 


242 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

Lieutenant S. W, Terry and Lieutenant S. W. Pbes- 
TON;, (killed), Aides. 

First Division, Commodore Henry K. Thatcher. 

Second Division^ Commodore Joseph Lanman. 

Third Division^ Commodore, Jas. Findlay Schenck. 

Fourth Division, Commodore S. W. Godon. 

Iron-clad Division^ Commodore Wm. Radford. 

Flag-ship — Malvern, Lieutenant William B. Cushing 
(first attack) ; Lieutenant B. H. Porter (killed), (second at- 

Iron-cladr — Canonicus, Lieutenant-Commander George 
F]. Belknap. Mahopac, Lieutenant-Commander E. E. Pot- 
ter ( first attack) ; Lieutenant-Commander A. W. Weaver 
(second attack). Monadnoch, Commander E. G. Parrott. 
New Ironsides , Commodore William Radford. Saugus, 
Commander E. R. Colhoun. 

Screw Frigates — Colorado, Commodore H. K. Thatcher. 
Minnesota, Commodore Joseph Lanman. ^yahasll, Captain 
M. Smith. 

Side-wheel Steamers (first class) — Powhatan, Commo- 
dore J. F. Schenck. Susquehanna, Commodore S. W. Godon. 

Screw Sloops — BrooMyn, Captain James Alden. Juni- 
ata, Captain W. R. Taylor (first attack) ; Lieutenant-Com- 
mander T. S. Phelps (second attack). Mohican, Com- 
mander D. Ammen. Shenandoah, Captain D. B. Ridgely. 
Ticonderoga, Captain C. Steedman. Tuscarora, Commander 
J. M. Frailey. 

Screw Gun-vessels — Kansas, Lieutenant-Commander P. 
O. Watmough. Maumee, Lieutenant-Commander R. Chan- 
dler. Nyach, Lieutenant-Commander L. H. Newman. Pe- 
quot. Lieutenant-Commander D. L. Braine. Y antic, Lieu- 
tenant-Commander T. C. Harris. 

Screw Gun-boats — Chippei a, Lieutenant-Commander 
A. W. Weaver (first attack) ; Lieutenant-Commander E. E. 
Potter (second attack. ) Huron, Lieutenant-Commander T. 
O. Self ridge. Seneca, Lieutenant-Commander M. Sicard. 
Unadilla, Lieutenant-Commander F. M. Ramsay. 

Double-enders — Iosco, Commander John Guest. Mack- 
inaw, Commander J. C. Beaumont. Maratanza, Lieutenant- 

The Defence of Fort Fisher. 243 

Commander G. W. Young. Osceola, Commander J. M. B. 
Clitz. Pawtuxet, Commander J. H. Spotts. Pontoosuc, 
Lieutenant-Commander AVm. G. Temple. SassacuSj Lieu- 
tenant-Commander J. L. Davis. Tacony, Lieutenant-Com- 
mander W. T. Truxtun. 

Miscellaneous Vessels — Fort Jadcson, Captain B. F. 
Sands. Monticello, Acting Vice-Lieutenant D. A. Camp- 
bell (first attack) ; Lieutenant W. B. Cushing (second at- 
tack), N evens, Commander J. C. Howell. Quaker City, 
Commander W. F. Spicer. Rhode Island, Commander S. 

D. Trenchard. Santiago de Cuba, Captain O. S. Glisson. 
Yanderhilt, Captain, C. W. Pickering. 

Powder Vessel^ — Louisiana, Commander A. C. Rhind 
(first attack; blown up). 

Reserve — ^4. D. Vance, Lieutenant-Commander J. H. 
U])shur. Alabama, Acting Vice-Lieutenant Frank Smith 
(first attack) ; Acting Vice-Lieutenant A. P. Langthorne 
(second attack). Britannia, Acting Vice-Lieutenant Sam- 
uel Huse (first attack) ; Acting Vice-Lieutenant W. A. Shel- 
don (second attack). Cherokee, Acting Vice-Lieutenant W. 

E. Denison. Emma, Acting Vice-Lieutenant T. C. Dunn 
(first attack) ; Acting Vice-Lieutenant J. M. Williams (sec- 
ond attack). Gettysburg, Lieutenant-Commander P. H. 
Lamson (wounded). Governor Buchingham, Acting Vice- 
Lieutenant J. IMcDiarmid. Howquah, Acting Vice-Lieuten- 
ant J. W. Balch. Keystone State, Commander H. Polando. 
Lilian, Acting Vice-Lieutenant T. A. Harris. I^ittle Ada, 
Acting Master S. P. Crafts. Moccasin, Acting Ensign Jas. 
Brown. Nansemond, Acting Master J. H. Porter. Tris- 
tram Shandy, Acting Ensign Ben. Wood (first attack) ; Act- 
ing Vice-Lieutenant F. M. Green (second attack). Wilder- 
ness, Acting Master PL Arey. 

At the second attack the fleet was composed of the same ves- 
sels, with the exception of the Nyach, Keystone State, and 
Quaker City. The following additions were also made to the 
fleet: Montgomery, Acting Vice-Lieutenant T. C. Dunn; 
U. R. Cuyler, Commander C. H. B. Caldwell; Aries, Acting 
V^ice-Lieutenant F. S. Wells; Eolus, Acting Master E. S. 

244 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

Kevser : Fort Donelson, Acting Master G. W. Frost; and Re' 
public, Acting Ensign J. W. Bennett. 


In the first attack the armament of the fleet was 10 15-inch 
S. B., 27 11-inch S. B., 1 10-inch S. B., 255 9-inch S. B., 30 
8-inch S. B., 31 32-pounders S. B., 10 150-pounders R., 37 
100-pounders R., 5 60-pounders R., 1 50-ponnder R., 43 30- 
poimders R., 28 20-pounders R. ; total guns, 478. Howitz- 
ers: 68 24-pounders, 73 12-pounders; total howitzers, 141; 
grand total, 619. 

In the second attack there were 1 more 10-inch S. B., 2 
fewer 9-ineh S. B., 2 more 8-inch S. B., 8 more 32-pounders 
S. B., 8 fewer 100-pounders R., 1 fewer 50-pounder R., 5 
more 30-pounders R., 1 fewer 20-pounder R., 4 more 12- 
pounder howitzers ; making 4 more guns and 4 more howitz- 
ers ; grand total, 627. 

Lanbing Party at Fort Fisher^ 15 January, 1865 : 
2,261 Officers, Seamen^ and Marines — Lieutenant-Com- 
mander K. R. Breese, Fleet Captain, commanding. 

First Division, Captain L. L. Dawson, U. S. M. C. 

Second Division, Lieutenant-Commander C. H. Cushman 

Third Division, Lieutenant-Commander James Parker. 

Fourth Division, Lieutenant-Commander T. O. Sel- 

Pioneers^ Lieutenant S. W. Preston (killed). — Malvern, 
60 men. Lieutenant B. H. Porter (killed). Colorado, 218 
men, Lieutenant II. B. Robeson. Mmnesofa, 241 men, Lieu- 
tenant-Commander James Parker. Wahash, 188 men, Lieu- 
tenant-Commander C. H. Cushman (wounded). Powhatan,, 
100 men. Lieutenant George M. Bache (wounded). Sus- 
quchanna, 75 men, Lieutenant-Commander F. B. Blake. 
Brooklyn, 70 men (estimated), Acting Ensign D. Cassell; 
Juniata, 69 men, Acting Master C. H. Hamilton (wounded). 
Mohican, 52 men. Acting Master W. Burdett. Shenandoah, 
71 men, Lieutenant S. W. J^ichols. Ticonderorja, 60 men. 
Ensign G. W. Coffin (w^ounded). Tuscarora, 60 men, Lieu- 
tenant-Commander W. ]Sr. Allen (wounded). Kansas, 20 

The Defence of Fort Fisher. 245 

men, Acting Ensign Williams. Pequot, 44 men, Acting En- 
sign G. Lamb. Yantic, 45 men. Acting Ensign J. C. Lord. 
Chippewa, 24 men, Acting Ensign G. H. Wood. Huron, 34 
men, Lieutenant-Commander T. O. Self ridge. Seneca, 29 
men, Lieutenant-Commander M. Sicard. Iosco, 44 men, 
Acting Ensign W. Jameson. Mackinaw, 45 men. Acting 
Master A. J. Louch (wounded). Maratanza, 51 men. Act- 
ing Master J. B. Wood (wounded). Osceola, 39 men. Act- 
ing Ensign J. F. Merry (wounded). Pairtuxet, 40 men, 
(estimated). Acting Ensign J. A. Slamm. Pontoosuc, 42 
men, Acting Ensign L. E,. Chester (wounded.) Sassacus, 
37 men, Acting Ensign W. H. Mayer. Tacony, 32 men, 
Acting Ensign J. B. Taney. Fort Jackson, 69 men. Lieu- 
tenant S. H. Hunt. Monticello, 41 men. Lieutenant W. B. 
Gushing. Nerens, 61 men, Acting Ensign E. G. Dayton. 
Rhode Island, 47 men. Lieutenant F. R. Smith. Santiago 
de Cuba, 53 men. Lieutenant N. H. Farquhar. Vanderhilt, 
70 men (estimated), Acting Vice-Lieutenant L. D. Danels. 
Gettysburg, 71 men. Lieutenant R. H. Lamson (wounded). 
Tristram Shandy, 22 men. Acting Ensign B. Wood 
wounded. Montgomery, 37 men. Acting Master W. N. 
Wells. Total 2,261 men. 

Casualties — The reports of casualties in the first attack, 
as collated by the Surgeon-General, give the following result : 
19 killed, 1 mortally scalded, 31 severely wounded. 1 severely 
scalded, 31 slightly wounded or scalded. Total, 83. 

Casi^at.ties IX THE Second Attack — Malvern, 3 killed, 

1 wounded; Canonicus. 3 wounded; Saugiis, 1 u'ounded; 
Colorado, 4 killed, 17 wounded, 8 missing: Minnesota, 15 
killed, 26 wounded, 2 missing; W abash, 4 killed, 22 wounded, 
5 missing; Potrhatan, 4 killed, 17 wounded, 8 missing; Siis- 
quehanna, 3 killed, 15 wounded; Brooklyn, 3 wounded, 2 
missing; Juniata, 5 killed, 10 wounded; Mohican,! killed, 11 
wounded; Shenandoah, 6 wounded, 5 missing; Ticonderoga, 

2 killed, 2 wounded ; Tuscarora, 4 killed, 12 wounded ; 
Karisas, 1 wounded ; Pequot, 3 killed, 5 wounded ; Yantic, 2 
killed, 1 wounded; Chippewa, 4 killed 4 wounded; Huron, 5 
wounded; Seneca, 5 wounded ; /osco^ 2 killed, 12 wounded; 
Mackinaw, 2 wounded, 2 missing; Maratanza, 3 wounded; 

246 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

Osceola, 3 wounded; Pawtuxet, 2 wounded; Pontoosuc, 7 
wounded; Tacomy, 4 killed, 11 wounded; Sassacus, 3 killed, 

3 wounded ; Fort Jackson, 1 killed, 10 wounded ; Monticello, 

4 killed, 4 wounded; Nereus, 3 killed, 3 wounded; Rhode 
Island, 8 wounded, 2 missing; Santiago de Cuba, 1 killed, 
9 wounded; Vanderbilt, 2 killed, 13 wounded; Gettysburg, 
6 killed, 6 wounded; Tristram Shandy, 2 wounded, 1 miss- 
ing; Montgomery, 2 killed, 4 wounded. Total, killed 82; 
wounded, 269; missing, 35; grand total, 386. 

William Lamb. 
Norfolk, Va., 

15 January, 1901. 



On the night of Saturday, 1 April, 1865, my division oc- 
cupied a portion of the defences around the city of Peters- 
burg, my left resting on Otey's Battery, near the memorable 
Crater, my right extending to the dam on a creek beyond 
Battery 45. Ramseur's old Brigade of North Carolinians, 
commanded by Colonel W. R. Cox (holding appointment as 
temporar}^ Brigadier), was on the right; Archer's Brigade 
of Virginia Junior Reserves, and Grimes' old brigade of 
I^orth Carolinians, commanded by Colonel D. G. Cowand, 
of the Thirty-second North Carolina; Battle's Brigade of 
Alabamians, commanded by Colonel Hobson, of the Fifth 
Alabama ; Cook's Brigade of Georgians, commanded by Colo- 
nel Nash, extended to the loft in the order above named, num- 
bering for duty about two thousand two hundred muskets, 
covering at least three and a half miles of the trenches around 
Petersburg. One-third of my men were constantly on picket 
duty in our front, one-third kept awake at the breastworks 
during the night, with one-third only off duty at a time, and 
they were required always to sleep with their accoutrements 
on and upon their anns, ready to repel an attack at a mo- 
ment's warning. 

About 10 o'clock on the night of 1 April, 1865, the can- 
nonading from the artillery and mortars in my front became 
unusually severe, and about 11 o'clock the Federals charged, 
capturing my picket line, which coiisisted of pits dug in the 

Note. — General Grimes entered the army in 1861 as Major of the 
Fourth Regiment N C. T He filled every grade np to ^lajor-General 
and literally fought his way up. He was the highest officer from this 
State at Appomattox, being the only INIajor-General we had in that army 
at that time. There was no braver man in the whole army. Having- 
gone through countless battles, this gallant soldier lived to be slain by 
an assassin while riding along the road near his own home, 14 Aug. 1880. 
The culprit was arrested and though his guilt was clear he was acquitted 
by a miscarriage of justice wliich shocked the whole State. But return- 
ing to the scene of the murder the assassin having rashly boasted of his 
crime, was promptly hung by outraged neighbors.— Ed. 

248 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

earth for protection from sharpshooters, and occupied by my 
soldiers, varying in distance from one hundred and fifty to 
three hundred yards in front of our main breastworks. I 
toolc measures immediately to re-establish this line, which 
was successfully accomplished, and our pits re-occupied. 
About daylight of the 2d the enemy again drove in our pick- 
eta and charged Kune's salient at the point where Battle's 
Brigade was posted, carrying the works for a few hundred 
yards on each side of that point, doubling and throwing 
Cook's Brigade back a short distance. I hurried the com- 
mands of Colonels Cowand and Archer to the point of attack 
as rapidly as possible, charging the enemy, who were in pos- 
session of and protected by our traverses and bomb-proofs 
(which were erected to prevent our line being enfiladed, and 
also as a place of refuge from their perpendicular mortar 
fire), and continued gradually to gain traverse after traverse 
of our captured works. 

I then secured four pieces of artillery, which were placed 
in our second line of works, and were invaluable in checking 
the advance of the enemy, thus confining them by grape and 
canister to this particular point at the salient, preventing 
their advancing to attack our lines in flank or rear; Cook and 
Battle holding them in check on the left, and Cowand and 
Archer on the right of the captured works, their only point 
of egress being exposed to the fire of the artillery. 

T regret my inability to recall the names and thus give hon- 
orable mention to those gallant artillerists who rendered me 
such effective service. 

During the forenoon a brigade, under command of Colo- 
nel , reported to me for duty, and was placed 

near the artillery in this second line of earth works (which 
had been constructed to fall back upon in case of disaster to 
onr first line). My dispositions were soon made to attack 
the enemy simultaneously at all points — Cowand and Archer 
on the right. Cook and Battle on the left, who were to drive 

them from the protection of their traverses. Colonel 

commanded in front Avith a heavy line of skirmishers, con- 
necting his left with (^ook and his right with Cowand. My 
four pieces of artillery poured grape and canister into the 

Surrender at Appomattox. 249 

enemy, and I gave the signal for the infantry to advance, 
when a general charge was made, but through a direct viola- 
tion of orders on the part of Colonel , this attack 

only i^artially succeeded, capturing that portion of the line 

alone upon which the skirmishers advanced, Colonel 

having changed tlie direction of attack, and charged the point 
assigned to the skirmishers on the right, thereby leaving a 
space of three hundred yards unassailed. There is no doubt 

in my mind that if Colonel had attacked with vigor 

at that time, we could have driven the enemy entirely from 
our works. After the lapse of an hour, during which time 
the enemy v/ere heavil_y reinforced, 1 ordered another attack 
from tlie second line in which Colonel participa- 
ted, but by again diverting the brigade in the direction of 
Cowand's Brigade, instead of towards the salient, the enemy 
were dislodged from only a small portion of the lines. 

Subsequently sixty men of Johnston's Korth Carolina Bri- 
gade, under command of Captain Plato Durham, recaptured 
Fort Mahone, which for an hour had been so covered by our 
fire as to forbid its occupants showing themselves. In taking 
this fort a large number of prisoners were captured ; so man^, 
in fact, that when I first saw them skulking behind the earth- 
works for protection against the fire of their own men, I 
feared it was a ruse on the part of the enemy to surprise us. 
They had secreted themselves for safety in this work, and 
we, in our charge, had taken the only outlet. 

After this no general attack was made, though we contin- 
ued slowly l)ut gradually to drive them from traverse to 

About nightfall the enemy occupied some two hundred 
yards of our lireastworks. Through no inefficiency or neg- 
ligence on the ])art of the officers and men were the works 
carried, but owing to the weakness of the line, its extreme 
length, and the want of sufficient force to defend it, for they 
acted most heroically on this trying occasion. Only one un- 
wounded man (an ofiicer) did I see seeking the rear, and he 
one whom I had the ]irevious day ordered under arrest for 
trafficking with the enemy (exchanging tobacco for coffee). 
Him I hailed and inquired where he was going, when he re- 

250 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

called his arrest of the previous day, from which I immedi- 
ately released him, and sent him back to his command. 

I had a verbal conference with General Lee and after- 
wards officially rejDorted my inability to hold this point 
against any vigorous attack. In consequence of this report, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Peyton, the Army Inspector, was sent to 
examine this line, and he coincided with my views and so re- 
ported to General Lee. On an average throughout, the space 
from man to man was at least eight feet in the line of 
trenches. I doubted not that with a reserve of five hundred 
men I could have driven the enemy from any point which 
they might capture, and repeatedly urged that such an ar- 
rangement be made, knowing well that the enemy, by con- 
centrating a large force on any given point, could press their 
way through the line, and my only salvation was in having 
the means at hand to drive them back before large numbers 
could enter. Our left was the post of greatest danger. There 
should the reserve have been placed ; but General Lee in- 
formed me that every available man was on duty, and I must 
do the best I could. 

On Sunday night of the 2d we had orders to abandon 
the works, and without the knowledge of the Federals, we 
withdrew to the north side of the Appomattox river, follow- 
ing the Hickory Road to Goode's bridge, when we recrossed 
the iVppomattox, proceeding towards Amelia Court House, 
which we reached on the morning of the 5th. Wednesday 
we remained stationary in line of battle, confronting the en- 
emy until about dark, when we followed the army, taking up 
the rear, being very much impeded on the march by the 
wagon train and its most miserable management, which, as I 
apprehended, would cause us some disaster. The enemy 
showed themselves on Thursday, about S o'clock, a. m., in 
our rear and on our left flank, when near Amelia Springs, 
and in a short time began to press us vigorously. 

I then formed Cox's and Cowand's Brigades in line of bat- 
tle, with a heavy skirmish line in front to impede their pro- 
gress, and to cover our rear, sending Battle's, Cook's and 
Archer's Brigades forward for one-half mile to form there, 
across the road, in line of battle in order to allow Cowand 

Surrender at Appomattox. 251 

and Cox to retreat safely when the enemy had deployed and 
prepared to attack ; onr right flank being protected by a jSTorth 
Carolina brigade of cavalry under General Koberts. In this 
manner alternating the brigades throughout the day, we con- 
tinued to oppose the enemy and retreat, endeavoring to pro- 
tect the lagging wagon train, which was successfully done up 
to about i p. m., when we approached Sailor's Creek, and 
upon the ridge running parallel with that stream we made 
the final stand of the day, the wagons becoming blocked up 
at the bridge crossing the stream. At this point General 
Lee ordered me if possible to hold this line until he could 
have artillery put in position on the opposite hills over the 
creek parallel with those I occupied. 

The enemy pushed on rapidly, attacking us with very 
great pertinacity, We here repeatedly repulsed their as- 
saults, but l»y turning both of our flanks they succeeded in 
not only dislodging, but driving us across the creek in confu- 
sion. About now the artillery from the heights occupied by 
General Lee opened upon the enemy, and the sun being down 
they did not cross the creek. After we broke, personally I 
was so pressed, the space between the two wings of the enemy 
beinc; not o^'ev two hundred yards, that I sought safety in re- 
treat. I galloped to the creek (the bridge being in their 
possession) where the banks were very precipitous, and for 
protection from their murderous fire, concluded to jump my 
horse in, riding him through the water, and effect my escape 
by abandoning him on the other side, the bullets of the enemy 
whistled around me like hail all the while. By great good 
fortune, the opposite banks proved not so precipitous, and 
my horse, seeming to appreciate the situation, clambered up 
the height, and started off in a run, thus securing my safety. 
This same animal. Warren, I still own and treasure for his 
past services. That night we took the road for Farmville, 
crossing the Appomattox at High Bridge, posting guards on 
the south side, thus collecting all stragglers and returning 
them to their commands. 

The next morning (Friday) we continued our march down 
tlie railroad and formed line of battle on the Lynchburg road, 
still endeavoring to preserve that iinpedimenta of Caesar's — 

252 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

the ^vagon train — marching by the left flank through the 
woods parallel to the road traveled by the wagon train, and 
about one hundred or so yards distant from the road. Upon 
reaching the road and point that turns towards Lynchburg 
from the Cumberland road, three of my brigades, Cook's, 
Cox's and Cowand's, had crossed the Cumberland road and 
were in line of battle, and at right angles with Battle's and 
Archer's Brigades, wlio were still parallel with the Cumber- 
land road. Heavy firing was going on at this point, when 
General Mahone came rushing up and reported that the en- 
emy had charged, turning his flank, and driving his men 
from their guns and the works which he had erected early 
in the day for the protection of these cross roads. I then 
ordered my three brigades. Cook's, Cox's and Cowand's (to 
move) at a double-quick on the line with Battle and Archer, 
and charging the enemy, we drove them well off from Ma- 
hone's works, recapturing the artillery taken by them and 
capturing a large number of prisoners. I held this position 
until sent for by General Lee, who complimented the troops 
of the division upon the charge made and the service ren- 
dered, ordering me to leave a skirmish line in my front, and 
stating that Field's Division would occupy my position ; I 
was to hurry with all possible dispatch to the road which 
intersected the Lynchburg road, as the enemy's cavalry were 
reported to be approaching by that road. 

We reached this road, halting and keeping the enemy in 
check until the wagons had passed, and then continued the 
march ]iarallel with the road traveled hy the wagon train, 
continuing thus to march until night, when we took the road 
following to protect the trains. 

On Saturday, the 8th, no enemy appeared, and we marched 
undisturbed all day. U]i to this time, since the evacuation of 
Petersburg, we had marched day and night, continually fol- 
lowed and harassed by the enemy. The men were very much 
jaded and suffering for necessary sustenance, our halts not 
having been sufficiently long to prepare their food, besides all 
our cooking utensils not captured or abandoned were where 
we could not reach them. This day Bushrod Johnson's Di- 
vision was assigned to and placed under my command, by 

Surrender at Appomattox. 253 

order of General Lee. Upon passing a clear stream of water 
and learning that the other division of the corps had gone 
into camp some two miles ahead, I concluded to halt and give 
my broken down men an opportunity to close up and rejoin 
us, and sent a message to Major-General John B. Gordon, 
commanding the Corps, making known my whereabouts, in- 
forming him I won Id be at any point he might designate at 
any honr desired. 

By dark my men were all quiet and asleep. About 9 
o'clock I heard the roar of artillery in our front and in con- 
sequence of information received, I had my command aroused 
in time and passed through the town of Appomattox Court 
House before daylight, where, upon the opposite side of the 
town, I found the enemy in my front. Throwing out my 
skirmishers and forming line of battle, I reconnoitred and 
satisfied myself as to their position, and awaited the arrival 
of General Gordon for instructions who, a while before day, 
accompanied b}^ General Fitz Lee, came to my position, when 
we held a council of war. General Gordon was of the opin- 
ion that the troops in our front were cavalry, and that Gen- 
eral Fitz Lee should attack. Fitz Lee thought they were 
infantry and that General Gordon should attack. They dis- 
cussed the matter so long that I became impatient, and said it 
was somebody's duty to attack, and that immediately, and 
I felt satisfied that they could be driven from the cross roads 
occupied by them, which was the route it was desirable that 
our wagon train should pursue, and that I would undertake 
it ; whereupon Gordon said, "Well, drive them off." I replied, 
"I cannot do it with my division alone, but require assist- 
ance." He then said, "You can take the two other divisions 
of the Corps." By this time it was becoming sufficiently 
light to make the surrounding localities visible. I then rode 
down and invited General Walker, who commanded a divis- 
ion on my left, composed principally of Virginians, to ride 
with me, showing him the position of the enemy and explain- 
ing to him m}' vicAvs and plan of attack. He agreed with 
me as to its advisability. I did this because I felt that I 
had assumed a very great responsibility when I took upon 
myself the charge of making the attack. I then made dispo- 

254 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

sitions to dislodge the Federals from their position, placing 
Bushrod Johnson's Division upon my right, with instruc- 
tions to attack and take the enemy in the flank, while my 
division skirmishers charged in front, where temporary 
earthworks had been thrown up by the enemy, their cavalry 
holding the crossings of the road with a battery. I soon per- 
ceived a disposition on their j^art to attack this division in 
flank. I rode back and threw our right so as to take advant- 
age of some ditches and fences to obstruct the cavalry if they 
should attem])t to make a charge. In the meantime the cav- 
alry of Fitz Lee were proceeding by a circuitous route to get 
in rear of them at these cross roads. The enemy observing 
me placing these troops in position, fired upon me with four 
pieces of artillery. T remember well the appearance of the 
shell, and how directly they came towards me, exploding and 
completely enveloping me in smoke. I then gave the sig- 
nal to advance, at the same time Fitz Lee charged those 
posted at the cross roads, when my skirmishers attacked the 
breastworks, which were taken without much loss on my part, 
also capturing several pieces of artillery and a large number 
of prisoners, I at the same time moving the division up to 
the support of the skirmishers in echelon by brigades, driving 
the enemy in confusion for three-quarters of a mile beyond 
the range of hills covered with oak undergrowth. I then 
learned from the prisoners that my right flank was threat- 
ened. Halting my troops T placed the skirmishers, com- 
manded by Colonel J. E. Winston, Forty-fifth North Caro- 
lina Troops, in front, about one hundred yards distant, to 
give notice of indication of attack. I placed Cox's Brigade, 
which occupied the right of the division at right angles to the 
other troops, to watch that flank. The other divisions of 
the Corps (Walker's and Evans') were on the left. I then 
sent an officer to General Gordon, announcing our success, 
and that the Lynchburg road was open for the escape of the 
wagons, and that I awaited orders. Thereupon I received 
an order to withdraw, which I declined to do, supposing that 
General Gordon did not understand the commanding posi- 
tion which my troops occupied. He continued to send me 
order after order to the same effect, which I still disregarded, 

Surrender at Appomattox. 255 

being under the impression that he did not comprehend our 
favorable location, until finally, I received a message from 
him, with an additional one, as coming from General Lee, to 
fall back. I felt the difficulty of withdrawing without disas- 
ter and ordered Colonel J. Ti. Winston, commanding the 
skirmish line which had been posted in my front on first 
reaching these hills, to conform his movements to those of 
the division, and to move by the left flank so as to give notice 
of an attack from -that qimrter. I then ordered Cox to main- 
tain his position in line of battle, and not to show himself 
until our rear was one hundred yards distant, and then to fall 
back in line of battle, so as to protect our rear and right flank 
from assault. I then instructed Major Peyton, of my staff, 
to start the left in motion, and I continued with the rear. 

The enemy upon seeing us move off, rushed out from un- 
der cover with a cheer, when Cox's Brigade, lying concealed 
at the brow of the hill, rose and fired a volley into them 
which drove them back into the woods, the brigade then fol- 
lowing their retreating comrades in line of battle unmolested. 
After proceeding about half the distance to the position oc- 
cupied by us in the morning, a dense mass of the enemy in 
column (infantry), appeared on our right, and advanced, 
without firing, towards the earthworks captured by us in the 
early morning, when a battery of our artillery opened Avith 
grai:)e and canister and drove them under the shelter of the 

As my troops approached their position of the morning, I 
rode up to General Gordon and asked where I should form 
line of battle. He replied, ''Anywhere you choose." Struck 
by the strangeness of the reply, I asked an explanation, where- 
upon he informed me that we would be surrendered. I then 
expressed very forcibly my dissent to being surrendered, and 
indignantly upbraided him for not giving me notice of such 
intention, as I could have escaped with my division and 
joined General Joe Johnston, then in North Carolina. Fur- 
thermore, that I should then inform my men of the purpose 
to surrender, and that whoever desired to escape that calam- 
ity could go with me, and galloped off to carry this idea into 
effect. Before reaching my troops, however. General Gor- 

256 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'G5. 

don overtook nie, and placing his hand upon my shoulder, 
asked me if I were going to desert the army and tarnish my 
OAvn honor as a soldier, and said that it would be a reflection 
upon General Lee and an indelible disgrace to me, if I, an 
officer of rank, should escape under a flag of truce, which 
was then pending. I was in a dilemma and knew not what 
to do ; but finally concluded to say nothing on the subject to 
my troops. 

Upon reaching them, one of the soldiers, asked if General 
Lee had surrendered, and upon my answering that I feared it 
was a fact that we had been surrendered, he cast away his 
musket and holding his hands aloft, cried in an agonized 
voice, "Blow, Gabriel, blow ! Xy God, let him Blow ; I am 
ready to die !" We then went beyond the creek at Appo- 
mattox Court House, stacked arms amid the bitter tears of 
bronzed veterans, regretting the necessity of capitulation. 

Among the incidents ever fresh in my memory of this 
fatal day to the Confederacy^ is the remark of a private sol- 
dier. When riding up to my old regiment to shake by the 
hand each comrade who had followed me through four years 
of suffering, toil, and privation often Avorse than death, to 
bid them a final, affectionate, and, in many instances, an 
eternal fareAvell, a cadaverous, ragged, barefooted man 
grasped me by the hand, and choking with sobs said, "Good- 
bye, General ; God bless you ; we will go home, make three 
more crops and then try them again." I mention this in- 
stance simply to show the spirit, the pluck and the faith of 
our men in the justice of our cause, and that they surren- 
dered more to grim famine than to the prowess of our ene- 

That day and the next the terms of surrender were ad- 
justed ; the following day our paroles were signed and coun- 
tersigned, and on Wednesday, 12 April, 1865, we stacked 
our arms in an old field, and each man sought his home as 
best he might. 

Bryan Grimes. 
Grimesland, N. C, 

5 November. 1879. 

Note. — This is taken from a letter from General Grimes to INIajor John 
W. Moore. 

Ithe new yokKj 



Franklin J. Faison, Lt.-Col., 20th Regt. 

Killed at Gaines' Mills, 27 June, 1863. 
Duncan James De Vane, Major, 20th Regt. 
John Franklin Ireland, Captain, Co. D, 20th 

Regt., A. A. G. Iverson's Brigade. 

Wounded and captured near Petersburg, 

25 March, 1S65. 

Oliver E. Mercer, 2d Lt., Co. G, 20th Regt. 

Killed at Gettysburg, 1 July, 1863. 
James D. Ireland, Private, Co. E, 20th Regt. 

Wounded at Gettysburg, 1 July, 1863. 
John F. Cross, IstLt., Co. B, ."ith Regt. 
Thomas Badger,!2d Lt., Co. I, 5th Regt. 



By WALTER A. MONTGOMERY, Second Lieutenant Company F, 
Twelfth Regiment, N. C. T. 

Appomattox to the historian is an event, not a place. The 
little village of that name in Southwestern Virginia which, 
on 9 April, 1865, consisted of a court house, jail, postoffice 
and a fe^v scattered houses, was not an interesting spot of 
earth ; and only that which came to pass there, on that day, 
has brought the hamlet to the notice of the world. 

ISTeither Avere the physical — material — deeds done there on 
that day great of themselves. The event, if it could be con- 
sidered as disconnected with its consequences and withoiit 
relation to the past, would also be of trivial moment; only a 
few thousand of ragged, starving soldiers, beaten in pitched 
battle, surrounded and captured after a week's retreat and an 
ever-aggressive pursuit by a powerful and watchful foe — that 
was all. But the captured were the remnant of the iVrmy 
of Northern Virginia; the captors the Armj of the Potomac, 
and that, together with the consequences raised the occur- 
rence to the plane of world-history. There, was the death- 
scene of an army once formidable in numbers and so great 
in prestige that it added renown to its enemy who gave the 
mortal wound ; and its great leader, by the act of furling the 
battle-flags of his regiments, conferred on his antagonist his 
highest title to fame. That army, during its four years of 
existence, had never been broken in battle, though out of 
them all it went on its way dripping with blood. It had al- 
ways been chivalric in its treatment of prisoners and espe- 
cially kind to such of them as were sick or wounded. It had 
always been scrupulous in its respect for womankind and 
most careful of the rights of private property. For three 
years, the flash from its musketry was a sheet of flame encir- 

258 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

cling the borders of the Confederacy and consuming like stub- 
ble fresh armies and fresh generals of its enemy, and twice 
bursting the bounds of its territory, leaped into the heart of 
the enemy's country. It made immortal almost every hill and 
dale of the Old Dominion, and electrified the civilized world 
wdth its deeds of heroism ; and though wounded nigh unto 
death at Gettysburg, it afterwards, at the Wilderness, at 
Spottsylvania and at second Cold Harbor, against odds in- 
calculable, performed prodigies of valor far in excess of any 
of its former achievements. But the time was at hand when 
it became possible for these men, 60,000 in number, poorly 
fed, badly shod and without suitable clothing, and losing 
their strength even in tlieir victories, to be driven back by 
140,000 upon their capital for a last stand. Through the 
long siege of eight months, in the trenches around Peters- 
burg, the survivors in seasons of extreme heat and extreme 
cold, suffering from a want of food and clothes, maintained, 
yet without li()]ie, their courage and their self-respect ; and 
they finally left their post only ui)on an order from their 
great leader, and after they had repulsed a series of desperate 
assaults. For a week, on their retreat without rest, and hun- 
gry, they flung defiance at their enemies and responded with 
alacrity to every order to face their pursuers until at last, at 
the end, they threw themselves upon their foes now blocking 
their way with a wail of despair drowned by the roar of ar- 
tillery and the rattle of their rifles ; and then, — 

"The pennon droops tlmt led the sacred band 
Along the crimson field." 

Thenceforward the Army of jSTorthern Virginia lived only 
in history. 

To the Southerners of that day Appomattox was the tomb 
of their social aspirations, the sepulchre of their political 
hopes ; for no people ever made nobler sacrifices for their 
convictions than they did for theirs ; and no people ever loved 
more devotedly, or more fully believed in their cause, than 
did the Confederates in theirs ; and their grief over the resiilt 
was proportioned to their love and their faith. 
• With the dying aw^ay of the cannon's last echoes, the 
idea of State sovereignty- — of American interest, and ISTegro 

Appomattox and the Return HoxME. 259 

slavery — of world-wide concern, perished together, to be 
succeeded, in short, bv National supremacy and univer- 
sal freedom. Then, and there, was settled, as far as opin- 
ion can be settled by force, that question of transcendant 
consequence to our country, unfortunately left an open one 
by our Constitution makers, to-Avit. : whether a State can 
withdraw of its own volition from the Union. From that 
day, the view of a consolidated Xational Government in con- 
tradistinction to one strictly Federal with supreme allegiance 
to the State has grown in public favor until the Great Re- 
pidjlic in very recent years has acquired possessions in the 
farthest quarters of the globe and seems determined, contrary 
to the traditions of our people and the conservatism of the 
past, to take an active share in shaping the destinies of the 

But that which gave the occurrence universal importance 
was that with the destruction of the military power of the 
South an idea — the belief that one man may have a right of 
projierty in another — an idea as old, in some form or other, 
as history itself was exploded. Emancipation had been pro- 
claimed by the President more than two years liefore, but Ap- 
pomattox made the proclamation enforceable. Brazil fol- 
lowed in 1872 and Russia a little later. 

But, 1 am to write more particularly of my recollections 
of the occurrences of that day and of my return to my home. 

I was then 20 years old, the February before, and a Lieu- 
tenant of Company F, Twelfth l^orth Carolina Regiment, 
R. D. Johnston's Brigade, Pegram's Division, then com- 
manded by General James A. Walker. A restless night, 
passed a mile away on the old Richmond and Lynchburg 
stage road, preceded the fateful morrow. There was present 
throughout its long hours a dull sense of impending catas- 
trophe quickened by an occasional and ominous discharge of 
cannon and small arms to our left and front. Before the 
dawn we were up and under arms, and without water or 
food commenced, as we thought, the march for Lynchburg. 
As Ave entered the eastern limits of the town, in column of 
fours, and just as the sun was rising, a cannon shot screamed 
over our heads from our immediate front, and we then knew 

260 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

that our forebodings were well founded. The enemy during 
the night had succeeded in his march around our left and was 
upon our front. Hurrying rapidly through the town we 
formed line of battle a half or three-quarters of a mile beyond 
and on the left of the road. We were a part of the troops 
General Grimes mentioned in his article on Appomattox, 
as a division commanded by General Walker "composed 
principally of Virginians." That division, in fact, was com- 
posed mostly of North Carolinians, Johnston's and Lewis' 
Brigades (North Carolinians), and Pegram's old brigade 
(Virginians). The troops on the right of us were Grimes' 
Division. Along the whole Confederate line as it advanced, 
the firing so far as I could discern, was opened simultane- 
ously, and when the men of Johnston's Brigade were ordered 
back I heard thereafter no continuous firing of small arms. 
The advance was supported by a battery of five pieces in po- 
sition on the western slope of the hill, and that battery kept 
up its fire some minutes after the infantry had ceased to be 
engaged. In our advance we raised the usual rehel yell and 
the line of Federals, dismounted cavalry, was quickly driven 
from its hastily constructed breastworks of rails and brush 
to the main line, on the hills, consisting of infantry and ar- 
tillery. I saw the wheels of the gun carriages and the men 
with knapsacks and guns. They w^ere not plainly discerni- 
ble because of the thick and low growth of the timber along 
their line, although the ground over which we advanced was 
half meadow land, through which ran a ditch with running 
water parallel to the line, the whole sparsely timbered, but of 
large growth. 

The battle was severer on our right and we understood at 
the time that General Cox, with his brigade, had the brunt 
of it, and that they claimed the honor of firing the last rounds. 
Suddenly and just as it seemed to us we were about to engage 
the Union infantry, the order was given to march "right 
about," and we retired a few hundred yards in the direction 
of our first position, where we remained', perhaps an hour. 
During that time nobody seemed to know anything about 
what was going on. There was a general idea that a truce 
was on, but no particulars. It was common talk, then, that 

Appomattox and the Return Home. 261 

at this very stage an interview took place between General 
Gordon and General Cnster, the latter having come into onr 
lines, under flag, to meet the Confederate General in com- 
mand for a conference and to prevent further bloodshed : that 
Custer assured Gordon that the Union cordon was complete 
and strong enough to destroy the Confederates if they should 
attempt to break through ; and that if General Gordon desired 
a verification of the statement he would take him on a round 
of inspection of the Federal lines ; tliat the proposition was 
accepted and after the inspection had been made our Second 
Corps was ordered back to places convenient for camp. The 
generous treatment we afterwards received at their hands is 
proof that they were magnanimous enough to have made such 
a proposition. It is certain that General Custer about that 
hour, or little later, sought and found General Longstreet. 
That officer, in "From Manassas to Appomattox," says that 
Custer demanded of him the surrender of the Confederate 
Army in the name of General Sheridan ; that he was excited 
in his manner; that he received from him (Longstreet) a 
rebuke for his intrusion ; that he then became more moderate 
and said, "It would be a pity to have more bloodshed upon 
that field." 

It seems that up to that time the two commanders had not 
yet met, and that Longstreet was preparing for battle after 
Gordon had withdrawn his corps from the front. I remem- 
ber Avhile we were standing awaiting orders. Sergeant White- 
ner, of Company A, said to me that the Army of Northern 
Virginia was about to be surrendered. T answered : "But 
we will have no difficulty in clearing the way; we have 
already shown that we can do that." He then pointed to the 
right and left to columns of Union troops, infantry, remark- 
ing: "We only struck their cavalry just now; we can never 
drive their infantry off; they are too strong." Our brigade 
was ordered back ])robably a mile for camp into a small piece 
of poorly timbered land, white and post oak, on the right 
of the Lynchburg road ; and the guns were stacked as usual on 

The first few hours were spent in uncertainty. We could 
not know that the terms would be of such a nature as to be 

262 North Carolina Troops, 1801 -'65. 

accepted. When that suspense was quieted by the announce- 
ment that the terms were satisfactory and had been accepted 
by General Lee, a feeling of collapse, mental and physical, 
succeeded for some hoiirs. Very little Avas said by men or 
officers. They sat, or laid on the ground in reflective mood, 
overcome by a flood of sad recollections. Few were to be 
seen away from their camps, and no life was there ; in fact 
on that day there were more Union troops to be seen on the 
road and in the fields within our line than Confederates. 

During the afternoon rations of bread were issued to us, 
but no meat until the next day, and then in small quantities. 
The animals were entirely without long food and they could 
be seen about in the fields in favorable spots trying to find the 
first grass and weeds of the season. It was understood that 
it was a matter of difficulty for the Union commissariat to 
get provisions for men and horses ; and we had had very little 
for several days. On the next day (Monday) the men began 
to recover themselves. They realized, not fully, it is trtie, 
but measurably, the tremendous importance of the event, and 
began to take thought for the future. Of course their first 
thought was to reach their homes as soon as possible for their 
services were, in most eases, sorely needed there. Crops 
could be planted and cultivated by those whose lives had been 
formerly on the farms and the others, in some indefinite way, 
ho]:)ed for something to do. Then, they wished to get through 
with the trying ordeal of the act of surrender, for, they did 
not know what the formalities might be, and in spite of their 
great deeds of the past, and consciences at rest on the score 
of duty performed to the last, they yet felt that it wottld be 
to them a hiuniliating scene. There was no personal bitter- 
ness in their hearts, little or no profane language, no curses 
upon their enemies. Their conduct was equal to the occasion. 

I heard no word of ill-will against the National Govern- 
ment in the future, no suggestions of guerrilla warfare. The 
universal sentiment was that the questions in dispute had 
been fought to a finish, and that was the end of it. Their 
confidence in their General Officers was unshaken, and for 
General Lee their affections and their esteem amounted to 
adoration. They knew he was heartbroken. In discussing 

Appomattox and the Return Home. 263 

the incidents wliieli produced the most harnifnl effects upon 
the fortunes of the army they mentioned the death of General 
Jackson, and the failure to occupy the heights at Gettysburg 
at the conclusion of the first day's battle. They also talked 
freely of the injustice of the conscript law, with its permis- 
sion of substitutes and twenty negro exemption, but I heard 
no breath of censure for thePresident who recommended those 
laws. On Monday two matters of diversion occurred. Gen- 
eral Gordon had the Second Corps, without arms of course, 
assembled in massed columns and from a central position, on 
horseback, delivered to them a farewell address. He spoke 
of their great and heroic achievements, of their privations 
and their sufferings, and their unselfish devotion to duty, and 
advised them to return to their homes to be as good citizens as 
they had been soldiers. Pie opened his speech with these 
words : '^Soldiers of the Second Army Corps ! No mathema- 
tician can compute the odds against which you have contend- 
ed," and he entered into an exhortation that they maintain 
their principles and their courage, with the assurance on his 
part that in all future emergencies, if the contest should be re- 
ncAved, they would find him ready to lead them again ; that 
''the blood of the martyrs was the seed of the church." We 
heard that the tenor of the address was not much relished at 
the Federal headquarters. He was a good soldier throughout 
his entire service, and if, at the Wilderness on the evening of 
6 May, 1864, when he struck Sedgwick he had been in com- 
mand of a corps, he would have rolled up Grant's right like a 
scroll. He was the most dashing of all the Confederates at 
Appomattox. Just after the speaking, or while it was going 
on, a number of Federal cavalrymen, who had been riding 
about our camps, one of them being under the influence of 
strong drink, gave us some trouble. The man in his cups in 
spinning some yarns about his ]ierformanees of the day be- 
fore, mentioned that one of his number was captured by some 
of General Longstreet's men, and that some of the General's 
staff had taken from the prisoner his housewife (thread and 
needle case), when a Georgian standing by, not being famil- 
iar with the name of the article alleged to have been taken — 
house-wife — picked up a stone and throwing it, brought his 

264 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

man to the ground. Considerable confusion ensued, and be- 
cause of that circumstance, an order was issued from Federal 
headquarters that no Union soldiers would be allowed to visit 
the Confederate camps without written permission. 

On that day, also. General Custer rode over to Johnston's 
Brigade to see his friend and classmate at West Point, John 
W. Lea, who was Colonel of the Fifth North Carolina Regi- 
ment, and then in command of the brigade. They had met 
the day before at General Custer's quarters. General Cus- 
ter brought with him an orderly with a basket of provisions 
and a flask of whiskey. Upon invitation of Colonel Lea, sev- 
eral of the ofiicers of the brigade joined General Custer and 
himself in the luncheon. He was of a most cheerful disposi- 
tion and very handsome in personal appearance. He told 
us that the honors of th^ 9th wer^ really with the Confed- 
erates, all things considered; that he took no glory to him- 
self when he ascertained the numbers of the Confederate 
army. On Monday also the paroles were printed and sent 
around to regimental headquarters — mine is now before me 
and is. dated 10 April, and signed by P. Durham, Captain 
Command ing R egiment. 

We kept no guard around the camp and had no duties of 
any kind to perform ; nor did we see a Union soldier with 
arms in his hands until the very moment at which our men, 
early on Wednesday morning, stacked their guns in front of 
the Federal Corps detailed to receive them. That was a 
most simple ceremony. In a line north and south, in a field, 
a Federal Corps Avas standing with arms at a shoulder wait- 
ing to receive the Confederates and their arms. We filed, 
in fours, just in front of them and ten feet off came to a 
halt and faced to the left ; the guns were then stacked and 
the flags laid on the stacks. 

The officers were allowed, under the terms of the surren- 
der, to keep their side arms. Not a word was spoken ; we 
did not even look into each others faces. We were 
marched from the spot to the road and, without returning 
to camp, turned our faces toward the South, toward our 
homes — and as I looked back for the last time the Federal 
Corps had not moved from its tracks, nor had a gun or a flag 



1. J. M. B. Hunt, Captain, Co. B, 12th Regt. 

2. Milton Blalock, 1st Sergt., Co. D, 12th Regt. 

3. George Hall Raney, Private, Co. B, 12th 


4. Cha?. Wm Raney, Private, Co. B, 12th Regt. 

5. Thomas D. Royater, Private, Co. D, 12th Regt. 

6. Richard A. Lloyd, Private, Co. B, 12th Regt. 

7. Samuel J. Currin, Private, Co. B, 12th Regt. 

Appomattox and the Return Home. 265 

been touched, and we had not yet opened our lips. It soon 
became apparent that there was no system, or plan about the 
march of the troops homeward. 

Somehow or other it became understood that General 
Grimes would conduct the ]\^orth CaTOlinians on their w^ay; 
anyhow a considerable number of them were under his direc- 
tions and he ordered the march toward Campbell Court 
House, with the intention to go from there to Danville. For 
two or three miles everything passed off smoothly. When, 
however, we came to a point where there was a divergent road 
leading in a more southerly direction. Private Thomas Roys- 
ter, from Granville County, saluted the General and said, 
"General, you are a good officer and you know the road to take 
a good many of these bo^'s to their homes, but I live lower 
down the Roanoke than Danville and it seems to me all who 
want to go to counties east of Granville should take this road ; 
anyhow I am going to try it and all who want to follow me 
can come on." Royster was a splendid soldier, considerably 
over six feet tall, symmetrical in form, with one of the best 
and kindest faces I ever saw and an eye intelligent and most 
expressive. A considerable number followed him. Amongst 
the number T. B. Watson, Austin Allen, R. H. Gilliland, -Tas. 
M. Bobbitt, P. A. Bobbitt, J. H. Duke, Robert C. Montgom- 
ery, my brother, and myself. We soon formed a party, for the 
men as if by instinct, broke up into small squads, and we con- 
tmued together until we seven reached our homes in Warren 
County. We started off with a small quantity of bread and 
coffee, but with no meat ; but on our way, with one exception, 
we met with kindness and consideration from the residents. 
We never saw Royster after ten minutes from the time we 
left the main column, for he with his strong body and long 
legs, had soon distanced us. jSTor did we have any conversa- 
tion with aiiy other soldier on our journey except a young 
man whom we found in a barn on a bed of straw on a plan- 
tation, near Rough Creek Church, our first night's camping 
ground. At that home there were only a mother and daugh- 
ter, the male memliers of the household being in their places 
in the army. At dark we walked up to the house and in- 
formed them of our condition and our desire to be allowed to 

266 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

use the barn for lodgings and the privilege of water from the 
well in the yard. Thev received us not only with politeness, 
but with kindness. They also added to our bread and coffee 
a piece of bacon and some sorghum molasses. In front of the 
barn we made a live coal lire and soon had our supper pre- 
pared. When the meal was over we filled our pipes with 
"Zephyr Puif/' a brand of smoking tobacco, several packages 
of which I had taken from a burning pile in the streets of 
Petersburg, the night of the evacuation, and for the time for- 
got our troubles. About 9 o'clock we went again to the 
bouse and inquired of the two householders if they would 
like to hear some music, and upon the response, of course, in 
the affirmative, Watson, who Avas a musician, leading with his 
cornet, and accompanied by the voices of the two Bobbitts, 
my brother and myself, all of us having belonged to a glee 
club in the army, we entertained them for half an hour. On 
retiring to the barn and making our beds upon the straw, we 
stumbled upon our only acquaintance on the way, who was in 
a helpless condition, and who could not tell vis how he came 
to be there. He only said that he could go no further and 
had laid down there to die. He was exhausted from fatigue 
and want of food and iipon our preparing for him something 
to eat and a strong pot of coffee, his strength was revived. We 
left him in fair condition. He reached his home in Warren 
County and is now a well-to-do farmer and the head of a 
large family. We heard of General Eansom along our route 
helping along the tired and foot-sore by often dismounting 
and placing such in his saddle, and speaking to them wOrds of 
hope and cheer. We greatly wished to come up with him, 
and to talk with him, for we had great interest and pride in 
him ; his people and ours havino; been for generations con- 
nected by ties of friendship. We had watched his career 
as a soldier which had reflected honor on his State and upon 
the South, and especially his strikingly brilliant conduct at 
Five Forks, a few days before. 

We spent the next nicht (Thursday) near the town of 
Chase City, then called Christiansbnrg. In passing through 
Charlotte Coui't House, on that day, we called at a large well- 
appointed home in the midst of extensive grounds, and at 

Appomattox and the Return Home. 267 

once were asked into the family living room, the family con- 
sisting entirely of ladies and children, and at once were made 
to feel at ease. An invitation, heartily pressed upon us, to 
dine we, of course, accepted. In the interval the cornet and 
the voices added interest to the occasion, delighting young 
and old, who had heard no sound of music for months. The 
war songs and old Southern ballads we had practiced, and 
often along the Shenandoah and Rappahannock w^e had given 
solace and pleasure to our friends and companions; but un- 
fortunately on the present occasion we, without proper fore- 
thought, began ""There Will Be one Vacant Chair," when the 
younger lady commenced to weep. 

At once Ave knew the cause. We w^ere thoughtless because 
there were so many vacant chairs in Southern households. In 
that particular case it was the husband's. But the elder 
lady made everything so easy and so delicately explained the 
situation, that it passed off without further embarrassment, 
and we left their home after dinner with their thanks and 
prayers, as if we had conferred a favor upon them. 

Our last night was spent near the Roanoke at the hospita- 
ble home of Colonel Eaton, the uncle of Captain M. F. Tay- 
lor, who was mortally wounded on the retreat from Gettys- 
burg. The nephew was, in truth, a most estimable gentle- 
man and capable officer, and a great favorite with the whole 
regiment. He was the idol of the uncle, and we all could, 
sitting around that hearthstone with truth* and propriety join 
in honoring the dead hero and kinsman. The host was of 
large means, given to hospitality, and until a late hour we 
grieved over our losses, celebrated our victories and mourned 
over the disappointment of our hopes. On rising the next 
morning for an early breakfast, had at our request, we found 
our shoes cleaned, our tattered uniforms brushed and hung 
on chairs. After the meal we left our kind entertainer stand- 
ing on the front portico and almost overcome by his feelings, 
watching us as we disap]'»eared forever from his sight, down 
the road that led us to our own beloved and bereaved ones. 

All along our route we met with only kindness and consid- 
eration with one exception, and that at the house of a man 
who was formerlv a resident of our own county. He refused 

268 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

us water from his well, and a rest upon the steps of his house, 
although we informed him who we were, and he knew the 
families of us all. We shook the dust of his premises from 
our feet and renewed our journey. Before we had gotten out 
of sight one of his old negro slaves, who had heard the con- 
versation between us, followed with his wife and soon over- 
taking us, introduced himself as an old acquaintance of the 
father of each one of us whom he had known in Warren. 
He made apologies for the conduct of his master. He 
brought along with him a pair of chickens, some corn meal, 
and a bucket of water, and in a short while the old man and 
his wife had prepared for us a feast. 

The old colored man said to us that when the female mem- 
bers of his master's family protested against his refusal to 
give to a Confederate soldier a cup of cold water he replied 
that he was afraid that they might have some contagious 
disease or depredate upon his poultry during the night. To 
the credit of humanity it may be said that we had few of such 
in the South. The refined feelings and delicate sensibili- 
ties of those old colored people, manifested so strikingly in 
such substantial sympathy, made up a beautiful picture of 
Southern life; and wherever we eight have been we have 
told it as an everlasting memorial of them. On our last day's 
journey at a fork of the Ridgeway and Alexander Ferry 
road, our party broke up, Watson, Allen and Gilliland contin- 
uing their way to their homes in the same neighborhood and 
we, the other five, to ours in Warrenton. We are all still 
living except Gilliland, and all bear upon our bodies lasting 
signs of those days. 

Upon our arrival at Warrenton the streets were alive w^ith 
the inhabitants anxiously waiting for the particulars of the 
surrender of which they had heard only vague reports. They 
were astonished at the news and many of them expressed 
themselves in favor of ''continuing the struggle," as they ex- 
pressed it ; but they were non-combatants. 

Walter A. Moxtgomery. 

Raleigh. N. C., 

13 December, 190L 


By JAMES M. MULLEX, Private Company A., 13th N. C. Battalion. 

After the evacuation of Plymouth, Washington, Kinston 
and Goldsl)oro, Brigadier-General L. S. Baker was sent to 
Weldon, charged with the duty of holding on to that place, 
not only for the purpose of preserving railroad communica- 
tion betAveen the other forces in Xorth Carolina and the Army 
of Northern Virginia, and those along the line of the Wil- 
mington & Weldon Railroad from Goldsboro to that point, 
but of collecting supplies for these armies from that por- 
tion of Eastern Carolina not actually in the possession 
of the enemy. The authorities recognizing the importance 
of this position in these respects, it being one of the 
principal sources of supply for the armies in the field, in- 
structed General Baker to hold it until the last moment, and 
at the same time, to watch o\it for and repel any raids of the 
enemy coming from the Blackwater and Chowan, and from 
Plymouth, Washington and Goldsboro. With the force un- 
der his command, this was no light duty, and he was necessa- 
rily abseut from Weldon most of his time looking after the 
various points under his supervision. Weldon, however, was 
the headquarters of his departnlent, which was styled "The 
Second Military District of North Carolina." In his ab- 
sence the Captain of our battery (Captain L. H. Webb, Com- 
pany A, Thirteenth Battalion, North Carolina Light Artil- 
lery), was in command. 

These were times that tried men's souls, and put to the 
severest test the metal with which Confederate soldiers were 
made. All signs indicated that the end was near at hand. Lee 
had abaiidoned Petersburg and Pichmond. though this was un- 
known to us until several days thereafter, as I shall show later 
on ; all of North Carolina east of the Wilmington & Weldon 

270 North Carolina Troops. 1861-'65. 

railroad had been given up, and Sherman had made his mem- 
orable march through Georgia to the sea, and through the 
Carolinas, having as his objective point Goldsboro, where he 
proposed to form a junction with Schofield, coming up from 
Xew Bern via Kinston, and Terry, moving from Wilmington. 
This was accomplished by him on 23 March, 1865. The giant 
arms of an octopus were rapidly closing upon the Confeder- 
acy in her final desperate but grand struggle for independ- 
ence. Just one month previous to the junction of these three 
armies, flushed as they were with victory, that old war-horse, 
General Joe Johnston, had relieved Beauregard at Charlotte, 
N. C, and was charged with the difficult task of collecting 
and uniting in one army the scattered forces of Bragg, Har- 
dee, Hood and Beauregard, for one supreme effort to stay the 
tide of invasion, and he prepared, if necessary, to unite 
his forces at Danville with those of Lee, who even then con- 
templated abandoning his position around Petersburg for 
that purpose, with the hope that the two armies might fall 
upon Sherman and crush him before Grant could come to 
his assistance. Vain hope, born of desperation, for Sher- 
man, having reached Goldsl)oro, his next plan was not to fol- 
low after Johnston, but to open communication with Grant, 
so that the two might act together. This is shown by his 
special order, issued about 5 April, at Goldsboro, which reads : 
"The next grand objective is to place this army (with its full 
equipment) north of Eoauoke river, facing west, with a base 
for supplies at Xorfolk, and at Winton or Murfreesboro, on 
the Chowan, and in full communication with the Army of the 
Potomac at Petersburg; and also to do the enemy as much 
harm as possible en route." His army was to move on 10 
April, in three columns of 25,000 each, with his cavalry un- 
der Kilpatrick aiming direct for Weldon until it had crossed 
the Tar, the general point of concentration being Warrenton, 
]Sr. C. But the whole plan w\as suddenly changed by the news 
of the fall of Pichmond and Petersburg, which reached him 
at Goldsboro on 6 April. Inferring that Lee would succeed 
in making junction with Johnston, with a fraction of his 
army at least, somewhere in his front, he prepared on the day 
he had appointed (10 April) to leave Goldsboro to move 

Baker's Command at Weldon. 271 

straight on Raleigh, which place he reached on 13 April, and 
found that Johnston had moved further on. 

Let us now leave Sherman at lialeigh, and go back to the 
little force at Weldon. And in the outset, I take pleasure in 
acknowledging my indehtedness for much I shall now recount 
to mv old cominander, Captain L. li. Webb, than whom a 
truer soldier never drew sword, and who has very kindly fur- 
nished me extracts from his diary kept during this period. 
I have also obtained valuable information from that gallant 
soldier, Hon. Jas. C. MacRae, then Assistant Adjutant-Gen- 
eral on General Baker's staff, and since one of the Supreme 
Court Judges of North Carolina. 

The task imposed upon this small force, consisting of two 
or three hundred infantry and our battery numbering about 
one hundred and twenty-five men, was no light one. For 
weeks it had been in a state of constant activity and excite- 
ment, enhanced towards the last with continual suspense and 
anxiety. It had been constantly on the move to meet threat- 
ened advances from the directions of the Tar and lower Roan- 
oke, and the ChoAvan and Blackwater rivers. If I remember 
aright, during the month of March, it had been sent upon 
two expeditions through Northampton, Hertford and Bertie 
Counties, to repel reported raids of the enemy's cavalry from 
the Chowan, one, to and below Tarboro to meet a threatened 
advance from the lower Tar and Roanoke, and one, down the 
Seaboard & Roanoke Railroad towards Franklin, to check a 
cavalry raid from the Blackwater. This last expedition, 
however, was in April, the command returning to camp there- 
from the night of 6 April. It was under command of Colo- 
nel Whitford, who had with him not to exceed two hundred 
infantry, (about fifty of whom were members of our com- 
pany, armed with inferior rifles), and two gi^ins from our bat- 
tery. I was with the expedition as a cannoneer of one of the 
guns of the battery. I forgot to say that we were conveyed 
down the Seaboard road upon two or three flat cars, and pos- 
sibly a box car or two. Upon reaching Boykin's Depot, 
about twenty-five miles from Weldon, Ave discovered that, all 
beloAv that point, the enemy had torn up and burned the track 
so that it Avas impossible for us to proceed further on the 

272 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

train. Disembarking, we reconnoitered the situation for sev- 
eral miles aronnd and remained there until next morning, 
when hearing that the enemy was making his way in the 
direction of Weldon, we boarded the train and started back. 
After passing Seaboard, a small station about ten miles east 
of Weldon, Colonel Whitford, \A-ho was riding on the engine, 
saw one or two men run across the track some six or seven 
hundred yards ahead. He at once ordered the train stopped. 
This precaution was not taken any too soon ; for as soon as 
some of the infantry were put off as skirmishers and the sit- 
uation was 'taken in, it was discovered that the track for some 
distance just ahead of us was torn up and that the enemy had 
ambuscaded both sides. We had passed Seaboard about a 
mile. As soon as the train was stopped the enemy opened 
fire upon us. Colonel Whitford caused the train to be run 
back to Seaboard, where the remainder of the command was 
put in position to await the return of the skirmishers, who 
were ordered to fall back as soon as they could ascertain with 
some certainty the force and purpose of the enemy. They 
soon reported that the enemy, consisting of a regiment of cav- 
alry, had retired in the direction of Jackson, which was dis- 
tant some eight miles in a southeast direction from where we 
were and away from Weldon. Colonel Whitford concluded 
to follow on after them, but I suspect with no hearty desire 
to meet up with them, for he could but know that our force 
was not able to cope successfully with a full regiment. Upon 
reaching Jackson, we learned there that the regiment was the 
Third Xew York Cavalry, about six hundred strong, well 
mounted and thoroughly equipped with Spencer repeating 
carbines, and had passed through that town some hours be- 
fore, and then must be near Murfreesboro, some twenty-five 
miles distant. After waiting several hours at Jackson, our 
guns were ordered back overland to Weldon, while the in- 
fantry under Colonel Whitford's command retired to Hali- 
fax. I shall always remember with pleasure one little inci- 
dent connected with this affair. Several weeks before, as we 
had more men than were required or needed to man the guns, 
about sixty of our company had been armed with rifles and 
acted with the infantrv. When the train was halted and skir- 

Baker's Command at Weldon. 273 

mishers throAvn off, I was anxious to join them and endeav- 
ored to get one of tlie riflemen to exchange pLaees with me. I 
kneAv he was disaffected and it occurred to me that he would 
not hesitate to shirk danger ; l)ut I reckoned without ray host. 
He rejected the overture with some indignation, and re- 
marked that if anybody had to use his rifle he proposed to do 
it himself ; and I ascertained that he behaved as gallantly as 
any man. This but illustrates that it was not cowardice that 
caused a great many of our soldiers to waver in their allegi- 
ance towards the close of the war, l)ut the terrible hardships 
to which they were subjected, the distressing accounts of suf- 
fering of their loved ones at home, and the intuitive knowl- 
edge that defeat was inevitable. I remember with sadness, 
without any feeling of censure, many instances of desertion 
of as brave men as ever marched to the tap of a drum. 

On 7 April, about 5 o'clock p. m., a telegram was received 
by Captain Webb, avIio was in command, from General John- 
ston, ordering that all trains north of the Koanoke river be 
recalled at once, all the artillery that could be moved got on 
the south side, and such heavy guns in the defences north of 
the river as could not be moved be destroyed, and tlie railroad 
bridge burned. Steps were at once taken to execute the or- 
der, and by hard service all night, the next morning (Satur- 
day, 8th ) found everything in the shape of guns, ordnance, 
quartermaster and commissary stores, removed from the north 
side of the river and delivered in Weldon, and combustibles 
at once gathered and ])laced at each end of the railroad bridge 
to fire it as soon as all the trains were safely over. The 
bridge, however, was not fired tliat day, why, I will let Cap- 
tain Weill) speak. T quote from his diary: "General Baker 
came up about 10 o'clock a. m. and ordered me with my bat- 
tery and Williams' section of artillery across the river again. 
Upon getting my battery over the river I put my guns in posi- 
tion along the old line as I thought best, and awaited ulterior 
orders from lieadquarters. My only support were the feeble 
remains of a company of so-called cavalry under Captain 
Strange. In all the twenty men of his command, there was 
not a single man or officer decently mounted. With my old 
fiery Bucephalus, ''Duncan," I could have charged and over- 

274 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

turned every skeleton of a horse in his company. But the men 
were all true ''Tar Heels," and there was no braver man than 
Captain Strange. On the afternoon of the 10th, the artillery 
was ordered back to the south side, and preparations made to 
leave Weldon. According to Captain Webb, there were then 
at that point about five hundred men, including at least sev- 
enty-five stragglers, furlonghed men, convalescents from the 
hospitals, and detailed men. 

On the 12th the command to leave Weldon was given. 
Ca])tain Webb was ordered to take charge of the column and 
start towards Ealeigh, keeping as near the railroad as possi- 
ble. By 10 o'clock a. m., the column was well on its way in 
good order, the objective being, if possible, to join General 
Johnston at or near lialeigh. We marched about sixteen 
miles that day. 

For several days previous to our departure, and even while 
the artillery was on the north side of the river, everything was 
done to put the force in good marching condition. Unfit and 
worthless animals connected with the artillery, quartermaster 
and commissary departments were condemned and either sold 
or given away. To supply their places, squads of mounted 
men were detailed to make tours through the adjacent farms 
and plantations, to impress horses and mules. The extra 
men of the connnand were parcelled out and assigned to the 
different regular organizations, and everything in the way of 
stores sent off by rail up the Raleigh & Gaston Railroad. The 
bridge, however, remained m statu quo, and was not burned 
until the night of the 13th, two days after we had marched 
away. One of the duties imposed upon the men of our bat- 
tery just before leaving Weldon Avas the collection and de- 
struction of boats along the river, so that, upon the burning 
of the bridge, communication with the north side might be 
effectually cut off. Perhaps it was a precautionary measure 
that could have been very safely dispensed with ; and when I 
recall my own experience in the performance of that duty, I 
am strongly inclined to that opinion. In company with a 
mountaineer, who knew nothing of boatcraft, I w^as sent up 
the river for that purpose. After proceeding about half a 
mile above the bridge, we came across a boat ; but the owner, 

Baker's Command at Weldon. 275 

who doubtless had taken the alarm, had hid the poles with 
which to propel it. Xothing daunted, we improvised the 
best we could, and started down the river. Tempted by the 
sight of some fish upon a slide near by, we essayed to cross 
over and secure them, and had almost reached the prize when 
my companion's pole broke and away we went down the 
rapids. We fortunately passed the worst safely, and by dint 
of extra exertion, reached the shore ; but for a few moments 
there were two badly scared navigators. The rest of the trip 
to the point we were ordered to bring the boats, was made by 
swinging around, one of us in the stern and the other at the 
bow alternately cat<-liing hold of and turning loose the bushes 
along the bank. 

The scenes in and around Weldon these few days were 
heart-rending. As early as the 8th, the citizens in the coun- 
try around, especially on the north side of the river, became 
panic-stricken, and came crowding into the town, imagining 
the direst calamities would befall them upon the withdrawal 
of the troo]3s. We could but remember the kind and hospita- 
ble treatment these good and loyal people had always extend- 
ed to Confederate soldiers, and were deeply touched at their 
distress. But some of us who had witnessed similar scenes 
took comfort in the thought that it would not be half as bad 
as they imagined. 1 remember the confusion and consterna- 
tion in and around my own home upon hearing of the capture 
of Koanoke Island ; and yet, the storm of war passed by with- 
out inflicting the grievous woes apprehended. But Sherman 
and his bummers did not pass that way. 

By sunrise on the 13th, we resumed our march in a hard 
rain, and with the roads in a terrible condition. Not long 
after starting, we began to meet stragglers making their way 
to our rear. Among the first to attract our attention, was a 
weary looking, foot-sore and jaded young fellow in the dirty 
and tattered uniform of a Lieutenant of infantry, who told 
us he was going home, that Lee had surrendered, and what 
was left of his army had been paroled. Up to this time, we 
did not know that Petersburg had been abandoned, so com- 
pletely were we isolated and cut off. Captain Webb, who 
was in command. General Baker not yet having come up, re- 

276 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

fused to believe him, and ordered him and some others under 
guard to accompany the command until their story was ver- 
ified. But it was not long before all were fully convinced of 
the truth of their statements ; for the roads were soon filled 
with soldiers returning from Lee's army. I shall never forget 
the feeling that came over me when fully impressed with the 
fact that Lee had surrendered. LTntil then I had never permit- 
ted myself to doubt the ultimate success of the Confederacy ; 
and, as to the Army of Xorthern Virginia, I believed that 
under "Marse Robert," it was simply invincible. I appre- 
hend that this feeling was shared by most of the Confederate 
soldiers, hence their endurance, courage and devotion under 
the sorest trials and in the darkest hours of the cause. With 
Lee's surrender, all hope fled, and thereafter, obedience and 
the discharge of duty were purely mechanical. Swift upon 
the heels of the news of this terrible disaster, and on the even- 
ing of the same day, came the rumor that Sherman was in pos- 
session of Raleigh, and that Johnston was retiring before him 
tOAvards Greensboro. Madame Rumor was not a lying jade 
that time. About nightfall, weary and hungry, depressed 
with the gloomy outlook, and after a hard day's work, we 
halted and went into camp near Warrenton Junction. Gen- 
eral Baker had not yet come up, and Captain Webb was in 
much doubt as to Avhat course to pursue. 

Let me narrate the events of the succeeding day in the 
words of Captain Webb himself. I quote from his diary : 

"Friday, 14 April: About daylight this morning, the 
bugle sounded reveille, and as soon as the weary men could 
be got in line, and the horses hitched, without breakfast, we 
started for the Junction, about four miles distant, intending 
to feed at that place. I pressed on ahead of the column, to 
see if I could hear anything of General Baker, and at that 
early hour T found the road filled with stragglers, all reiter- 
ating and confirming the news of yesterday. TsTothing could 
be heard of the General. The column came up in about an 
hour and halted, horses fed, and men got breakfast. About 
the time we were ready to move again, a solitary horseman 
rode up to the depot, in whom I recognized Brigadier-General 
M. W. Ransom. He dismounted and hitched his horse, while 

Baker's Command at Weldon. 277 

I Avent forward to meet him. He confirmed the report of Gen- 
eral Lee's surrender, having himself been there and witnessed 
it. I told of my situation, the reported occupation of Ral- 
eigh by Sherman, and that, surrounded by the enemy as I 
was, I hardly knew what to do with the stores and men under 
my charge. He replied that he knew nothing of Sherman's 
position, but hardly thought he was in Raleigh, that, being a 
paroled soldier, he could not give me any advice in the prem- 
ises; but that his lu'other, Major-General Robert Ransom, was 
at his house only about four miles away, and, as he was not 
paroled, I could consult him. This I concluded to do, and 
countermanding the order to resume the march, we mounted 
and rode off. We found General Robert Ransom at his 
house. He was home on sick furlough, and I entered at once 
into the matter which had l^rought me to his presence. Gen- 
eral Matt was present, but took no part in the discussion. 
After some reflection, General Robert remarked that under 
the circumstances he could see no good in holding out longer, 
explained the difficulties of reaching Johnston if Sherman 
occupied Raleigh, and that he thought it best to remain where 
I was, and send a flag of truce to Sherman at Raleigh, offer- 
ing to surrender upon the same terms accorded Lee's army. 
At the conclusion of General Robert's remarks. General Matt, 
forgetful of the fact that he was paroled and could give no 
advice, sprang to his feet, and exclaimed with flashing eye 
and extended arm, "Xever, under no consideration surrender 
until there is a force in your front sufficient to compel it. 
But Avhat am I doing. I am a paroled prisoner and have no 
right to speak in this manner," and walked out of the room. 
There was that in his manner, looks, and ringing tones, which 
settled the question for me. Bidding both "Good-bye," I 
mounted my horse and rode back to Warrenton Junction. 
L'pon arriving there I found a considerable number of the 
men in a state of disquietude and disorder, amounting to al- 
most total demoralization. They had broken into one of the 
cars containing supplies of food, were wantonly wasting the 
supplies, and were preparing to break open other cars. Spring- 
ing from my horse and making my way to them, calling my 
bugler as T went, I had him sound the assemblv and told them 

278 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

to fall in with their several commands at once. The better 
and nobler instincts of good soldiers coming to their assist- 
ance, they soon quieted down and readily fell into line. I 
then addressed them as best I could, told them all the news I 
could learn, of my conference wdtli the generals, that we had 
food enough for a week at least, and in that time I felt sure 
something would be done, either by the arrival of General 
Baker or in some other way, which would enable us either to 
continue or close our services as Confederate soldiers in an 
honorable way. That I proposed now to move on to Ridge- 
way, halt and call a council of officers ; and urged them to be 
men a little longer and trust me, and I would do for them the 
best I could. My emotions choked my utterance, many of 
the men wept with me, and all promised implicit obedience 
to my orders. The column was soon formed and marched to 
Eidgewny, where we arrived about noon. Hastily calling 
the officers together for consultation, we concluded to send an 
engine and tender up the road as near Raleigh as possible and 
ascertain, if we could, whether Sherman was there or not. 
An engine on the track already fired up was seized, and as 
many men armed with Enfield rifles as could be were put 
aboard and in the charge of Lieutenant Blount, of the Tenth 
N"orth- Carolina Troops, with orders to go as near Raleigh as 
he deemed safe, and if he found the enemy in occupation to 
return with the best speed possible, burning the most impor- 
tant bridge on the road in his rear. The engine was about to 
move off, when the president of the road (Dr. W. J. Hawkins) 
w^ho lived here, stepped up and, in an authoritative tone, or- 
dered the men off and the engine not to move an inch. I re- 
newed my former order, which the president again forbade, 
denying my authority to impress his rolling stock in such ser- 
vice. Remonstrances proving unavailing, I directed a Ser- 
geant with a file of men to remove him into the railroad office 
and keep him under guard, which being done the engine 
moved off up the road. In the consultation with the officers it 
was decided that if upon the return of Lieutenant Blount, 
General Baker had not come up or been heard from, another 
meeting should be called for definite action. At 5 p. m., news 
came that General Baker and staff were comins:, and about 6 

Baker's Command at Weldon. 279 

p. m., they rode up. Upon his arrival the president of the road 
was set at liberty and he at once made complaint to the gen- 
eral, but he endorsed all I had done, and then saying he would 
make his headquarters with the president, they rode off to- 
gether. Soon after he called a council of the officers, from 
which I returned about 9 :30 p. m. With few dissenting 
votes, it was decided to send a flag of truce to Sherman, ten- 
dering our surrender upon the same terms allowed Lee's 
army. Lieutenant Blount had returned about 8 p. m., re- 
porting that he had gone within twelve miles of Raleigh and 
gotten what he deemed reliable information that Sherman 
was in possession of the city. On his return, in obedience 
to orders, he had burned the railroad bridge over Cedar 

On the morning of the 15th, the General announced an 
entirely different programme from that determined upon the 
evening before. That now announced was to abandon the ar- 
tillery and all except absolutely necessary supplies, and with 
the whole command in as light order as possible, mounted on 
artillery horses and transportation animals, as far as could 
be done, and armed as best we could, try to get to Johnston by 
passing around Sherman's rear. This change met with wide 
spread dissatisfaction, Imt nothing further was done that 

On the IGth (Sunday), the General was urged by some of 
his officers to carry out at once the plan originally decided 
upon, to surrender; for they were satisfied they could not 
control their men longer. He promised to take the matter 
under consideration and announce his final decision at an as- 
sembly of all the forces that evening. The plan finally 
adopted was to try and cut his way through to Johnston with 
all who would volunteer to follow him, the others to disband 
and go home as best they could. About fifty volunteered, of 
whom nineteen were from our battery. These fifty were au- 
thorized to be mounted on government horses and armed with 
Enfield rifles. This was done, and at midnight they took up 
their march. 

The next morning, having been up all night, Ave pre- 
sented auA^thing but a martial appearance ; and, if the truth 

280 North Carolina Troops. 1861-'65. 

musr be told, our enthusiasm was at a low ebb ; for we were 
pretty well satisfied that ours was a "wild goose chase." 
JSTothing but a sense of duty, and a reluctance to turn back as 
long as we were called upon to go forward, carried us on. 
For two days we wandered on over the hills and through the 
woods of Franklin, Johnston and Wake Counties. On one 
of these days we passed through Louisburg, worn out and 
hungry. The good citizens of the town received us enthu- 
siastically and treated us most hospitably. It must have 
been an amusing sight to see us straggling through the streets 
with flowers in one hand and something to eat in the other. 
It made a deep impression on me at the time, and I shall 
never forget the scene. 

About sundown on the 18th we reached Earpsboro and 
halted. There the General informed us that he had relia- 
ble information that Johnston had surrendered, and he had 
determined to send in a flag of truce to Raleigh, tendering his 

On the next day, having recrossed the Tar river and coun- 
termarched several miles, we started the flag, the officer in 
charge bearing the following letter: 

"IIeadQuaktehs Second Military District^ JST. C, 

"Nasii County, K C, 19 April, 1865. 

^'Major-General W. T. Sherman, Commanding United States 
Forces, Raleigh, N. C. : 

"General: — Finding that General Johnston has surren- 
dered his army, of which my command forms a part, I have 
the honor to surrender my command, with a request that the 
same terms be allowed me as were allowed General Johnston's 
army. I have the honor to be very respectfully, 
"Your obedient servant, 

"L. S. Baker, 
"Brigadier-General, C. S. A." 

A rumor reached us to-night that President Lincoln had 
I)een assassinated. 

About 5 o'clock p. m., on the 20th, our flag returned with 
a letter from General Sherman to General Baker, stating 
that General Johnston had not surrendered, but that terms 

Baker's Command at Weldon. 281 

had been agreed upon between them for a cessation of hos- 
tilities and the restoration of peace. Accompanying the let- 
ter was a copy of the agreement. The letter gave General 
Baker the right to disband his force under the terms granted 
Lee's army. 

The general, deeming it best to accept these terms, issued 
the following order: 

"Headquarters Second Military District, 
"Department N^orth Carolina, Blnn^s House, 

April 20, 1865. 
General Order No. 25. 

"The Brigadier-General commanding, announces to the 
officers and men who have remained with him, that the two 
grand armies of the Confederate States having been com- 
pelled to make terms with the enemy, it has become necessary 
that he should disband his command. 

"The officers and men will be allowed to return to their 
homes, where they will remain peaceably and quietly, until 
called forth again by the proper authorities. 

"He offers his profound thanks to those who have remained 
with him to the last. Though their labors have not been met 
with present success, they will carry with them the proud con- 
sciousness of having done their whole duty to their country, 
and of having laid down their arms only, when they could 
be of no further service to the cause to which their lives were 
so freely devoted. 

"With the kindest wishes for their future welfare, he bids 
them farewell. 

"By order of Brigadier-General Baker. 

"J. C. MacEae, a. a. G." 

And one similar to the following to each commanding of- 
ficer in the force, to-wit. : 

"Captain Lewis H. Webb, Company A, Thirteenth Battalion 
North Carolina Artillery : 
"Captain: — You will please present the thanks of the 
Brigadier-General commanding, to the following named of- 
ficers and men of your company, who have courageously re- 

282 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

mained at the post until the last moment, and who have not 
feared to trust their safety to him in the hour of adversity. 
He has done all he can for these brave men, and only surren- 
ders them when it would he folly and madness to continue 
longer in arms : 

Captain L. H. Webb, First Lieutenant H. R. Home, Ser- 
geant T. Gr. Skinner; Sergeant J. G. Latham; Corporal L. 
W. McMullen ; Privates James M. Mullen, Alphonso White, 
Peter McMillan, A. J. Baker, J. A. Jacocks, Daniel Morri- 
son, Nathaniel Hathaway, Richard Bogue, Walter J. Webb, 
Charles Barber, Thomas H. Snowden, Wm. H. Whedbee, R. 
W. Happer and George W. Fentress. 

I have the honor to be very respectfully. 
Your obedient servant, 

'•Jas C. MacRae. a. a. G." 

The men Xvere each furnished with the following: 

"Headquaetees Second. Mil. Dist. Dep't. N. C. 

''Bunn's House, April 20, 1865. 
"In accordance Avith an agreement with Major-General 
Sherman, commanding United States forces in North Caro- 
lina, Private , Company A, Thirteenth Battalion 

North Carolina Artillery, is permitted to go to his home, and 
there quietly remain, takin"' with him one horse, his private 
property. L. S. Baker, 


In passing, let me say that the horse was the best pay I 
ever received from the Confederacy, and he proved a most 
valuable acquisition. Early the next morning (Friday, 21 
April) we turned our faces homeward, feeling as if a heavy 
weight had been lifted off our shbulders, and believed that the 
suspense was over. Captain Webb, who was going to join his 
wife on the Blackwater, accompanied the Perquimans County 
boys until just before reaching Halifax, when Captain Webb, 
Wm. H. Whedbee and I pushed on ahead. T quote again 
from the Captain's diary: "On Sunday, 23 April, at Mar- 
tin's cross roads, Northampton County, N. C, T parted from 
Mullen and "Wliedbee, the last two of my company, to 'remain 
with me." 

Baker's Command at Weldon. 283 

I have but little more to add. After leaving Captain 
Webb, Whedbee and I pushed on to Murfreesboro. Reach- 
ing there we found the ferry had been destroyed, and we were 
compelled to cross the Meherrin river in a small canoe, swim- 
ming our horses. Our nearest route home from Murfrees- 
boro would have been to cross the Chowan at Winton, but the 
citizens of Murfreesboro informed us that at Winton were 
several Federal gunboats. We did not know how we might 
be received by the enemy, so deemed it the wiser course to 
abandon that route and cross the Chowan at a ferry higher up. 
This we did, but there we met with the same luck as at the 
Meherrin — had to cross in a small boat ourselves, and swim 
our horses. Here a bit of good luck befel us, not much, but 
we Avere thankful for small favors. We met up with a gen- 
tleman who had a sulky which he wanted to get to the town 
(Hertford) in which I lived. It must be borne in mind, we 
were not cavalrymen, and yet we had been in the saddle seven 
or eight days on the go all the time, were completely worn 
out, and had still before us about sixty miles to travel before 
reaching our homes. We gladly availed ourselves of this op- 
j)ortunity to change our mode of locomotion. Whedbee and 
I agreed we should ride "turn about," with my first go. But 
"all is not gold that glitters," and we are often doomed "to see 
our fondest hopes decay." I had hardly started before the 
fear of the thing breaking dowm took possession of me. The 
trouble was, compared with the vehicles (caissons and gun 
carriages) I had been used to for three years, the frail appear- 
ance and elastic motion of the sulky were alarming. I soon 
yielded the concern to Whedbee, who seemed to take it better. 
This was inspiring, and when my turn came around again I 
claimed the privilege, and accustomed myself to its motions. 
Whedbee. who lived in the country, left me when I was sev- 
eral miles from home. He was hardly out of sight when I 
heard in the direction I was going the booming of cannon, 
repeated at intervals. It occurred to me at once that the 
firing was from gunboats lying in the river at Hertford, and 
out of respect to President Lincoln. This was not very com- 
forting; for while there was no reason why I should appre- 
hend trouble or annoyance, I did not fancy facing the music 

284 North Carolina Troops, 1861 -'65. 

all alone, satisfied as I was of meeting in the town sailors and 
soldiers from these boats. But seating myself more firmly in 
my novel vehicle, drawing the reins of my steed tighter, and 
mustering up courage for the ordeal, I dashed over the Vidge 
and through the main street of the town in fine style. As I 
expected, the town was filled with sailors and soldiers, but 
they gave me a cheer as I passed, and shouted, "there goes a 
Johnny coming home in the best style. yet." I realized at 
once that ''this cruel war was over," and these hearty greet- 
ings from quondam foes went a long way towards reconstruct- 
ing me. 

James M. Mullen. 
Petersburg, Ya,, 

56 April, 1901. 

Note. — The author of the above very interesting sketch after the war 
located in Halifax, N C, becoming one of the most prominent lawyers 
in the State. He represented that county in the State Senate Some 
years since he removed to Petersburg where he is now, and for many 
years has been. Judge of the City Court —Ed. 



By R. Z. LINNEY, Private Co. A, Seventh Regiment, N. C. T. 

All wars are demoralizing. The Confederate and the Fed- 
eral armies in the war of the United States were probably 
as well disciplined, and the red-eyed daughters of war, plnn- 
der and rapine, as well restrained as in any war in the world's 
history. Even nnder these conditions we were not entirely 
exempt from that demoralization which defies the most rigid 
army discipline. 

In March, 186.">, General Stoneman left East Tennessee, 
moving by the turnpike leading from Taylorsville, Tenn., 
through Watauga County to Deep Gap on the Blue Ridge. 
On 26 Marcli he entered Boone, iST. C, and on the 27th the 
column A\as divided, one division under General Stoneman 
marching towards Wilkesboro, vhile the other, under General 
Gilliam, crossed the Blue Ridge at Blowing Rock and went 
to Patterson, in Caldwell County, and then joined Stoneman 
at Wilkesboro. l^eaving Wilkesboro on the 31st, General 
Stoneman moved over into Surry County, going towards Mt. 
Airy. During the march through this section of the State, 
Stoneman's men committed many depredations, and after 
leaving Wilkesboro a number of the lawless element of his 
command deserted. Shortly after this a number of men, 
some deserters from Stoneman's command and other worth- 
less characters, led by two desperate men, Wade and Sim- 
mons, completely terrorized a large portion of Wilkes County 
by their frequent raids. 

In order to fully understand the situation, the condition of 
the country at that time must be taken into consideration. 
Almost every man fit for military service was in the army, 
and the country was almost completely at the mercy of the 
robbers. It was thought after Lee had surrendered and the 
soldiers returned home that these depredations would be dis- 
continned, but they were not. 

286 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

These marauders were divided into two bands. One, led 
by Simmons, had its headquarters in the Brushy Mountains, 
and the other, led by Wade, had its headquarters near the 
Yadkin river in Wilkes County. The bands at times oper- 
ated together, but it is principally with Wade's band that 
this article is to deal. The house which Wade had chosen 
and fortified was situated near the road which leads from 
Wilkesboro to Lenoir, in Caldwell County, and about a mile 
from Holman's Ford, where the valley road crosses the Yad- 
kin river. The house was situated on a high hill, .jeommand- 
ing a fine view of the Yadkin Valley, and of the valley roady 
for a distance of a mile above and a mile below the ford. The " 
house fronted the river on the south while the rear was pro- 
tected by the 'Tlat Woods" belt, in which there were sympa- 
thizers if not aiders and abettors of the band. From this 
position the Yadkin Valley and the surrounding country for 
at least half a mile in every direction could be swept and con- 
trolled by Wade's guns. There is a legend that this point 
was chosen by Daniel Boone as a splendid military post to 
protect himself against the Indians. At any rate it would 
have been almost impossible to have chosen a stronger loca- 
tion, both offensive and defensive, than this. The house Avas 
built of oak logs, and was two stories high. In the upper 
story Wade had cut ])ort holes for his guns, which were army 
guns of the most improved type, and could command the ap- 
proaches to the house from all directions, making it indeed 
hazardous to attempt to reach it. This house belonged to 
some dissolute women by the name of Hamby, and after 
Wade had fortified it, the name by which it was known was 
"Fort Hamby." The exact number of men engaged in these 
depredations is unknown, though it has been stated on good 
authority to have at no time exceeded thirty. 

Making this their headquarters. Wade's force began to 
plunder the surrounding country, and from their cruelty it 
appears that their object was to gratify a spirit of revenge as 
well as to enrich themselves. They marched as a well-drilled 
military force, armed with the best rifles. It was only a short 
time before they brought the citizens for many miles around 
in every direction under their dominion. They plundered the 

A Battle After the War. 287 

best citizens, subjecting men and women to the grossest in- 
sults. Their cruelty is shown by this act : A Avoman was work- 
ing in a field near Holman's Ford, having a child with her. 
The child climbed on the fence and the men began to shoot at 
it, and finally killed it. Emboldened by their success in Wilkes 
County, they made a raid into Caldwell County on 7 May. 
Major Harvey Bingham, with about half a dozen young men 
from Caldwell and Watauga Counties, attempted to rout 
these marauders from their stronghold at Fort Hamby. On 
Sunday night after their raid into Caldwell, Major Bingham 
rnade a well-planned move on the fort, at a late hour of the 
night. For some reason. Wade and his men were not aware 
of the approach of Bingham's men until they had entered the 
house. Wade and his men announced their defenceless con- 
dition, and begged for their lives. Major Bingham had as- 
sured Wade, who was a deserter from General Stoneman's 
command, and who had organized this band of robbers, that 
his only ]mrpose was to compel them to desist from any fur- 
ther robbery and insult u]ion the citizens, and it was agreed 
that no violence was to be done them, and they were to be 
delivered to the military authorities at Salisbury for trial. 
This the robbers pretended to be willing to submit to. No 
guns were seen, and they were, so Bingham believed, his 
prisoners. They gave Wade and his men time to dress, after 
which, at a moment when the captors were off their guard, 
they rushed to their guns, which were concealed about their 
beds, and opened fire on them. The result was that Clark, a 
son of General Clark, of Caldwell County, and Henley, from 
the same county, were killed. The others escaped, leaving 
the bodies of Clark and Henley. 

Clark and Flenley were both young men of rare excellence 
of character. Major Bingham himself narrowly escaped 
being a victim of this treachery. The robbers, being encour- 
aged by the failure to dislodge them, began to enlarge the 
territory wdiich they were to plunder. About a week previous 
to this Simmons with his band had crossed into Alexander 
County and had made a raid on Colonel McCurdy, a well-to- 
do planter. They forced this excellent old gentleman to 
lead them to the place where his money was concealed, but it 

288 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

was not until tliev had tied him to the limb of an apple tree 
and l^egan to flay him alive that he surrendered and led 
them to his hidden treasure. 

About this time Mr. W. C. Green, of Alexander County, 
who had been a Lieutenant in the Confederate Army, re- 
ceived news from a friend in Wilkes County that Wade had 
planned to move into Alexander County and make a raid on 
his father, Rev. J. B. Green, and to kill him (W. C. Green) 
if found, ^]r. Green began to fortify his house, barring all 
the doors witli iron. They also took five negroes into their 
confidence and these promised to assist in defending the house 
against Wade. It was found out that they had in the house 
fire-arms enough to shoot eighteen times without reloading. 
Weapons were also provided for the negroes. 

Wade started across the Brushy Mountains on Saturday, 
13 May, and reached Mr. Green's that evening about dark. 
Mr. W. C. Green saw a number of men stop their horses in 
the road above the house, and he concluded that they were 
Wade's men. He notified his father, and mustered the ne- 
groes in the dining hall. All the lights were extinguished, 
though the moon was shining brightly. Mr. J. B. Green 
stationed himself at the front door, with a revolver in one 
hand and a dirk in the other. Mr. W. C. Green took his posi- 
tion at a window commanding a view of the front gate and 
porch. The negroes were stationed in the rear part of the 
house. Three men with guns approached the house in front, 
one of them being Wade who had on a bright Confederate 
uniform which he always wore on his raids, posing as a Con- 
federate soldier when necessary to gain admission into the 
houses he wished to plunder. The other members of the com- 
pany' took another route and surrounded the house from the 
rear, though this was not known at the time. Wade pre- 
tended that they were Confederate soldiers ; that they had 
belonged to the cavalry and were now on their way home, 
having been detained on account of sickness. Mr. J. B. 
Green told him "he lied, that he knew w^ho he was, what his 
business was, and that he could not enter his house except 
over his dead body." 

Some of the men had by this time come up from the rear 

A Battle After the War. 289 

and were trying to force an entrance. When this fact was 
made known to Mr. W. C. Green by one of the negroes, he 
rushed to the rear, knocked out a pane of glass and opened 
fire on them, wounding one of the. men. This unexpected 
turn of affairs seemed to frighten them and they all began to 
retire. Mr. J. B. Green and Mr. W. C. Green rushed into the 
yard and opened fire on them as they retreated, Wade and his 
men at the same time returning the fire. They retreated so 
rapidly that two of the men left their horses. 

It was found out afterwards that five of Wade's men had 
passed on down the Cove Gap road to the store of W. C. Lin- 
ney, where there was some powder and lead, and were w^atch- 
ing the store. A number of old Confederate soldiers had 
visited W. C. Linney that night, and remained in the store 
with him, and though it was only about one mile to Rev. J. B. 
Green's, they had no knowledge of what was going on there, 
nor of the action of the five desperadoes who were watching 

It was Sunday morning before the news was circulated. 
Mr. W. C. Green went to York Collegiate Institute and in- 
formed several men, and by 10 o'clock twenty-two men, 
almost all of them Confederate soldiers, had gathered, ready 
to pursue the robbers. In this party were several officers of 
tlie Confederate army and they were dressed in their uni- 
forms. Colonel Wash Sharpe was placed in command of the 
squad and they started in pursuit. The first news from 
Wade was A^'hen they reached ''Law's Gap." Here it was 
found that Wade liad camped in the Brushy Mountains part 
of the nigbt after the attack on Mr. Green, and about sunrise 
the next morning had made a raid on Mr. Laws and forced 
him to give up liis money. He informed the party that two 
of Wade's men were wounded. The pursuers followed the 
trail and found that five miles from Wilkesboro Wade's men 
had left the public road and had taken a shorter route by way 
of Hix's IMill and Holman's Ford to Fort Hamby. The ford 
was reached in the evening of 14 May, and after crossing the 
river, and traveling along the public road for about half a 
mile, the pursuing party left the public road and followed 

290 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

a pi'ivate road whicli led to a creek at the base of the hill on 
which Hamby house stood. In the plan of attack, part of 
the company under Colonel G. W. Flowers was to approach 
from the north while the other part under Captain Ellis, was 
to approach from the south, and then surround the house. 
In the enthusiasm of the moment all seemed to forget the dan- 
ger. Colonel Flowei's' men had gotten within seventy-five 
yards and Captain Ellis' men within twenty yards of the 
house wjien its defenders poured a voll'ey of minie balls 
through the port holes. James Polk Linney, only 16 years 
old, and Jones Brown, about IS years of age, were killed. As 
the squad that followed Captain Ellis to the south side of the 
house got within fifty yards of the east end of the house, W. 
F. Patterson and Burrel Connolly, two Confederate veterans, 
rushed up the hill to the house, Patterson before, Linney 
next and Connolly next. When they reached the house I 
heard the voice of my brother for the last time, say : '^Boys, 
they are going to shoot." Immediately the gims of the rob- 
bers were heard and Patterson and Connolly rode away, while 
Linney sat on his horse ar the east end of the house with his 
body bent as though he were trying to adjust his spur. Soon 
he went to the ground still holding the reins of his horse. 
He was mortally wounded by a ininie ball passing through 
his head, having entered just below the right eye. The rob- 
bers gave him no assistance, not even a drink of water, until 
Monday evening, when he died. 

Brown was charging up the hill on the west side when he 
was wounded. Some of the men were compelled to jump 
from their horses and throw themselves on the ground in or- 
der to esca])e being shot down. Their horses became fright- 
ened and breaking loose from them, ran to where Wade's men 
had their horses. Tavo of these horses were the ones captured 
from Wade at Mr. Green's. These men did not recover their 
horses at this time. 

Under the severe fire the men were compelled to retreat, 
and when they had retreated to a small stream, Brown, who 
had been shot, fell from his liorse and died in the presence of 
Eev. L. P. Gwaltney, who Avas then a boy about the age of 
Brow]i. ]\rr. Gwaltnev savs: 

A Battle After the War. 291 

''As we were ap]")roaching Ilolman's Ford the word passed 
along the line that the honse standing on an eminence to our 
right was the headquarters of the desperate land pirates 
whom we were ]mrsuing. Brown looking in that direction, 
turned and said, 'They are going to fight, sure.' Pointing 
his finger towai-d a wood above the Hamhv house, some 
women were plainly to be seen retreating into the woods, 
^That,' said he, "means business.' Then, taking his gun from 
his shoulder and laying it across his saddle, holding it and the 
reins of his horse with his left hand and laying his right 
hand on the Imtt of his revolver, he rode silently on. After 
crossing the Yadkin river a detour of perhaps half a mile 
was ma<le when we found ourselves halted on the bank of a 
roaring, rocky little stream, Avliile our advance Avas slowly 
crossing the rougli and rapid stream. The sun was stooping 
loAv towards the smumits of the Blue Kidge in our rear, 
Brown casting his eye over his shoulder, gazed at the beauti- 
ful scene and observed, 'What a beautiful Sunday to be en- 
gaged in work like this, guiding his horse into the stream 
and ere all had landed, our advance had reached the open 
field and the fray was on. As we emerged from the thicket 
skirting the stream. Brown fired his gun towards the house. 
James Linney, brave, noble youth, was shot from his horse 
near the fatal den. Brown hastily drawing his revolver, 
with flashing eye and face aflame, plunged forward to the 
fray, only a few leaps were taken, only twice did his faithful 
revolver s]ieak wlien the fearful whack of the enemy's bullet, 
as distinctly heard as the smiting together of the palms of the 
hands, indicated some one was struck. Brown suddenly 
reined his horse, threw up his right hand from which his 
smoking revolver fell and exclaimed, 'I'm shot, I'm killed.' 
The hope was expressed that he was not seriously hurt. 'Ah,' 
he said, pointing to his bleeding leg from which the blood was 
flowing in a streain, 'I shall be dead in five minutes.' Then 
lifting his eyes upward as if in prayer, he cried, 'O, such a 
little time to ]>repare to die.' These were the last words I 
heard him s])cak. Almost simultaneous with this we began 
to dismount and a confused retreat began. Passing the spot 
the writer snatched his revolver and brought it away. Cast- 

292 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'6o. 

ing my eye tOAvard the river I saw Brown still on his horse 
as he was being assisted across by two friends. Ten paces 
perhaps from the landing his horse reared and hurled the 
dying man to the ground. He arose to his feet, staggered 
once or twice around a small circle, and fell with his face to 
the earth. The writer was among the last recrossing the 
stream. Hastening to the spot where my dying playmate 
lay, I dismounted, gave my reins to Lansing Lowrance, who 
dismounted and remained with me. Running to my friend, 
I raised him in my arms. Only a few moments passed, hia 
eyes closed forever to scenes of blood, the brave heart grew 
still, and that noble spirit that no face of earthly foe could 
daunt, passed bravely, grandly into the great beyond." 

The force was now divided, part having fallen back across 
the creek, and part having reached the pines east of the build- 
ing. There Avas no chance to re-unite, and after waiting un- 
til dark, rlie men withdrew, some reaching Moravian Falls 
that night. These met the others at "Squire" Hubbard's next 
morning. In retreating under the severe fire from the fort, 
the men were compelled to leave the bodies of Linney and 
Brown. Wade's men afterwards buried them near the fort. 

These men returned to Alexander County and raised a 
large company, a strong force having been brought from Ire- 
dell County under the command of Wallace Sharpe. On 
Wednesday the force started towards Fort Ilamby. After 
crossing Cove's Gap, a courier was sent back to Iredell County 
to request Captain Cowan to raise a company and come to 
their assistance ; also, another courier was sent to Statesville 
to an encampment of Federal soldiers to inform them of the 
condition of things and to ask their assistance. Before 
reaching Moravian Falls, they received a message from 
Wade saying, "Com,e on ; I am looking for you ; I can whip a 
thousand of you."_ It was dark when Holman's Ford was 
reached. Some one in the woods before the company ordered 
them to halt. Thp men thought that the order was from 
some of Wade's ban,d and were about to fire upon them, when 
it Avas found out that this was a company from Caldwell 
County, under the command of Captain Isaac Oxford, on the 
same mission. They had encamped near the ford and had 

A Battle After the War. 293 

thrown out tlieir sentinels. The two companies camped 
together that night, and next morning marched np the river 
and crossed at a small ford. They came to the house of Mr. 
Talbert, who lived on the public road, and there they found a 
woman dying. She had been shot the day before by the men 
from the fort, while she and her husband were coming to the 
ford in a wagon on the opposite side of the river from the fort 
. — nearly a mile distant. 

Mr. Talbert begged the men to return, telling them that 
Wade was expecting them, and had sent for reinforcements. 
He told them that it Avas impossible to dislodge him, and to 
make an attempt and fail would make it worse for the people. 

Captain R. M. Sharpe, of Alexander County, assumed 
command of both companies, numbering several hundred 
men. W. E. Gwaltney was sent with a small body of men to 
reach a high hill, overlooking a creek (Lenoir's Fork), and 
to remain there while all the others marched around to the 
north and east of the fort. Gwaltney's men were to be noti- 
fied by the firing of a gun, when the main body had reached 
their position. One or two men were seen to escape from the 
fort before it could be surrounded. They were fired at, but 
escaped. The supposition was that they had gone to get re- 
inforcements from the other band. The companies had left 
their encampment before day and by daybreak the -fort was 
surrounded, the men being placed about twenty steps apart. 
The soldiers ke])t up the fire on the fort during the day and 
night. Wade's men returned the fire, shooting with great 
accuracy. The soldiers were compelled to keep behind logs 
and trees, or out of range of the guns. It seemed impossible 
to take the fort. ''Some of the bravest men were in favor of 
giving it up, while others said death was preferable to being 
run over by such devils." 

One old veteran, James Harvey Connolly, was heard to re- 
mark, "Well my interest in heaven may not be much, but 
such as it is I wonld be willing to give it all for a piece of ar- 
tillery one hour." Thursday morning just before daylight, 
Wallace Sharpe and two others approached a small house near 
the log fort, under cover of the night, and Sharpe set fire to 
it. Wade and his crowd begced for terms. Sharpe in vig- 

294 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

orous language, informed them that the death of our young 
heroes, Clarke, Hcnly, Lijiney and Brown must be avenged. 
As the flames of this out house began to ascend, all the men 
surrounding the fort began to rush up. Wade made a rush 
towards the river, through a body of Caldwell men, who 
opened lire on him, but as it was yet a little dark, he escaped. 
Four men were captured. Beck, Church, Lockwood, and one 
whose name cannot be ascertained. The flames which had 
caught the fort ^.\'ere extinguished, and in the house was 
found property of almost every description. Five ladies' 
dresses and bonnets had been taken for the dissolute women 
Avlio occupied the house. About twenty horses were found 
stabled near the fort. Some of the property was restored to 
the owners. The men who were captured plead for a trial 
according to the course and ])ractice of the courts. They were 
informed that they would be disposed of as summarily as 
they had disposed of Clark, Henley, Brown and Linney. 
Stakes were put up, and on the way to the place of execution 
they were given time to pray. They knelt down to pray, 
but the prayer was, "O, men, spare us." Wallace Sharpe 
replied : ''Men, pray to God ; don't pray to us. He alone can 
save you." Cajitain Sharpe requested W. R. Gwaltney to 
pray, but he re]ilied that he never felt as little like praying 
in his life. Ca])tain Isaac Oxford said, 'Tf -you will hold my 
gun 1 will pray;" but instead of praying for the men, he 
thanked God that they were to be brought to justice and that 
none of the party had been killed. After this Rev. W. R. 
Gwaltney offered an earnest ]irayer for them, and then they 
were shot, "as nearly in strict conformity to military usage as 
these old Confederate soldiers, under the excitement of the 
occasion, could conform to." 

After the prisoners were shot, the fort was set on fire. 
When the flames reached the cellar, the firing of guns was 
like a hot skirmish. Wade's men had stored away a great 
many loaded guns, and a large quantity of ammunition. 

Wade was seen in the vicinity several days after. He 
claimed to have been a ^Major in Stonenian's command and a 
native of Michigan. He said that he had escaped to the Yad- 
kin river from the fort and had hid under the banks until 

A Battle After the War. 295 

night ; that in searching for him the soldiers had frequently 
come within six feet of him. 

On the way back to Alexander County Captain Cowan, 
from Iredell, was met with a small body of men on their way 
to Fort Hamby. Also a company of Federal troops, then 
stationed in Statesville, were met on their way to the fort. 
They were told what had been done. The Captain ordered 
three cheers, which the men gave with a good will. The bodies 
of Linney and Brown were brought back home for final burial. 
Though all the desperadoes were not brought to justice, this 
comi^letely broke up their depredations. 

The most startling thing about tlie Avhole tragedy is this: 
Major Bingham attacked the robbers and lost two young 
heroes eleven days before the fort was taken and four of the 
robbers shot. It seems almost incredible that such a band 
of robbers should be permitted to plunder a county where 
700 men able to wear an helmet, and of sufficient courage to 
assail any foe, had their homes. The writer inquired of Col- 
onel Flowers a few days since how he was armed. ''I had a 
small pistol," said he. So had I. We had no gims of' 
any value to use upon such a fort, such a strong log wall. The 
rifles of the robbers were the very best then used in the Fed- 
eral army. The writer has one of them taken from the fort 
from the robbers we shot. It shoots with accuracy 1000 yards 
and the lock to-day appears to be as strong as when first made. 
The gun weighs ten pounds. The destruction of the band 
of robbers was at great sacrifice indeed. It put an end to 
plunder and insult of our people, but the loss of the lives of 
four of the gallant youths that had survived the war was a 
dear price to pay for it. 

Romulus Z. Ltn:s^ey. 

Taylorsville, N. C, 

14 May, 1901. 

N. C. IN The Navy. 


30 APRIL, 1864. 


Albemarle, — Iron-clad sloop, two guns, Commander J. W. 

Netise*, — Iron-clad sloop, two giins. First Lieutenant B. P. 


Noiih Carolina, — Iron-clad sloop, four guns. Commander 
W. L. Maury. 

Raleigh, — Iron-clad sloop, four guns. First Lieutenant J. 
Pembroke Jones. 

Arctic, — Floating battery, three guns. First Lieutenant C. 
B. Poindexter. 

Yaclkin, — Steam gun-boat, one gun, First Lieutenant W. 
A. Kerr. 

Two torpedo boats at Wilmington under construction. 
(9 Off. Bee. Union and Confed. Navies, 809.) 

*Later the iVi? was commanded by Commander Joseph Price, a na- 
tive North Carolinian who distinguished himself in the capture of the 
Water-Witch in Ossabaw Sound, 3 June, 1864, for which he received his 
promotion to Commander. — Ed. 

1. J. W.JCooke, Captain. 
3. John Newland Maffitt, Commander. 

3. James Iredell Waddell, 1st Lieut , Commandintr the " Shenandoah." 

4. James Knight Wood, Sailor, on Gunboat •• North Carolina." 

5. Gilbert Elliott. Builder of the " Albemarle.'" 


By ADAM TREDWELL, Acting Paymaster N. C. Navy, Assistant 
Paymaster Confederate States Navy. 

The State of Xorth Carolina, more than a month (14 and 
15 April) before passing the ordinance of secession, took 
possession of the forts at Beaufort and below Wilmington 
and immediately after its passage began the defences of her 
inland sounds by the construction of forts at Hatteras and 
Ocraeoke Inlets, and bv the purchase of several small steam- 
ers, which were converted into gun-boats. After the ordi- 
nance of secession was passed, her sons, who were in 
the United States jN'avy, tendered their resignations, and 
placed their services at the disposal of their native State, 
prominent among them was William T. Muse, who was or- 
dered by the Xaval and Military Board, of which Warren 
Winslow was Secretary, to Xorfolk, Va., to take charge of, 
and fit out, as gun-boats at the navy yard at N'orfolk, the 
steamers purchased by the State. 

The first of them to be placed in commission Avas the Whis- 
lov\, formerly the J. E. Coffee, a side-wheel steamer, plying 
between Xorfolk, Virginia, and the eastern shore of Vir- 
ginia, under command of Captain Patrick McCarrick. When 
the Coffee was purchased by the State of jSTorth Carolina, 
Captain McCarrick was commissioned a Master in the Worth 
Carolina Xavy, and remained attached to her until she was 
Slink in Ocraeoke Inlet in November, 1861. She mounted 
one short 32-pounder, and was commanded by Lieutenant 
Thomas M. Crossan, formerly of the United States ISTavy. 
Acting under orders he proceeded to Pamlico Sound, IST. C. 
Upon the outside of Hatteras and Ocraeoke Inlets he preyed 
on the commerce of the Xorth, and captured a number of ves- 
sels loaded with difl^erent kinds of merchandise. Prom the 
Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies, Series 
i. Volume 1, the names of the following vessels are given: 
Brig Itasca, brig }yiUiam McGilvery, schooners Seawitch, 

300 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'6o. 

Henry Nutt, Nathaniel Chase, Herbert Manton, Transit, 
and brig Hannah Balch. Mr. Jas. W. McCarrick, of ISTor- 
folk, Va., who was a master's mate in the North Carolina 
Navy, attached to the steamer Winsloic, says "that the brig 
Hannah Balch when captured, was in charge of a prize crew, 
commanded by Past Midshipman Kantz, now a Rear Ad- 
miral in the United States Navy. This brig loaded with 
sugar and molasses, had been captured by a Federal vessel, 
while attempting to enter harbor at Savannah, Ga., and put 
in charge of the prize crew." The vessels captured were 
sent to New Bern, N. C, where they were condemned as 
prizes. The State of North Carolina paid the officers and 
crew of the Winsloiv full prize money. 

The next steamer sent out was the Beaufort, mounting one 
long 32-pounder, commanded by Lieutenant W. C Duvall. 
On 9 July hoisted ensign, and put the Beaufort in commis- 
sion, after taking on powder and other equipment, proceeded 
under orders to her station in Pamlico Sound. "On 21 July 
when off Oregon Inlet Lieutenant Duvall reports the first 
naval engagement with the Federal forces. The Federal ves- 
sel was a large three-masted propeller, carrying a battery of 
eight guns, one rifle cannon forward and aft, working on 
pivots, position taken by this vessel was not over 11/4 miles 
from the Beaufort,ivom where she opened fire across a narrow 
strip of land. Her shots were replied to by the Beaufort; 
firing was kept up as long as the gun could be elevated suf- 
ficient to graze the sand hill. The enemy not fancying the 
shots, withdrew behind the high sand hills, where she was 
out of range. On 30 July, came to anchor opposite Island 
of Portsmouth." 

The steamer Ealeigh was next fitted out, mounting one 32- 
pounder. July 22 Lieutenant Commanding J. W. Alexan- 
der was ordered to command her. 

The Ellis, mounting one 32-pounder, commanded by Com- 
mander W. T. Muse, sailed from Norfolk 2 August, 1861, 
arriving off Ocracoke Inlet the 4th. 

The capture of these vessels by the Winsloiv produced an 
outcry from the commercial circles of the North, which no 
doubt called the attention of the naval authorities to the ne- 

North Carolina Navy. 301 

cessity of blocking tlie inlets leading into the North Carolina 

In the early part of the Summer of 1861, the naval author- 
ities of the North, seeing the advantage of taking possession 
of these inland waters of North Carolina, commenced the 
preparation of a naval expedition, and the work had so far 
progressed as to enable the expedition to sail on 26 August. 
The expedition consisted of the frigate Alinnesota, flagship 
of Flag Officer Stringham; steam frigate Wabash, steamers 
MonticellOj, Paivnee and Harriet Lane. The army accom- 
panying this expedition was in command of General B. F. 
Butler. On the 28th the frigates Cumberland and Susque- 
hana joined the fleet, and with the Wabash, opened Are on 
Fort Clark, which was abandoned 28 August, after standing 
the bombardment two and a half hours, the garrison falling 
back to Fort Hatteras. 

Early in the morning of the 28th, news reaching Ocracoke 
Inlet of the attack on forts at Hatteras, Commander Muse 
immediately made preparations for embarking the troops sta- 
tioned on the Island of Portsmouth (being part of Seven- 
teenth Regiment, N. C. T. ) taking on his vessel Captain 
Sharp's company. Remainder of the troops were taken on 
board of schooner in tow of steamer. The Ellis weighed 
anchor about 11 o'clock a. m. Commander Muse proceed- 
ing with all dispatch to the assistance of the forts, arriving 
early in the afternoon of the 28th. After landing Captain 
Shai'p's company, assisted in landing the troops from the ves- 
sel, and ammunition from the Winsloir just arrived. Com- 
mander Muse having sent ashore all of the ainmunition he 
could spare from his ship. All of this work was accom- 
plished under direct fire from the Federal fleet, without any 
damage being done. Flag officer Barron, who was in com- 
mand of the naval forces, arrived on the Winslow. Imme- 
diately after his arrival, Flag Officer Barron landed, and 
went into Fort Hatteras, "when at the request of the com- 
manding officer. Major W. S. G. Andrews, he assumed com- 
mand. Colonel Martin, of the Seventeenth North Carolina, 
being completely exhausted from his previous day's fighting." 

302 North Carolina Troops, 1861 -'65. 

See Flag Officer Barron's report, Union and Confed. Navies, 
Series 1, Vol. 6', page 139. 

During the night of the 28th, Lieutenant W. H. ]\[ur- 
daugh, formerly of the United States Navy, and Lieutenant 
William Shar]-), formerly of the United States Navy, with 
Midshipman Statford, of the Ellis, landed and went into the 
fort and took charge of gun Xo. 8, which was mounted on a 
navy gun carriage. Early in the morning of the 29th the 
Federal fleet opened fire on the fort, and kept up an inces- 
sant fire, throwing 9, 10 and 11 inch shells. From the posi- 
tion taken by the Northern fleet the guns from Fort Hatteras 
were unable to reach them. After standing the heavy fire 
from the ship for more than three hours, the commanding 
officer, seeing that to hold out longer would only entail heavy 
loss of life, without his being able to inflict any damage to 
the enemy, wisely decided to surrender, and about noon, 
hoisted a white flag. In the meantime the officers and men, 
who succeeded in getting out of the fort, were taken aboard 
the Wi7isloii', commanded by Commander Arthur Sinclair, 
who had succeeded Lieutenant T. M. Crossan, among them 
Lieutenant Murdaugh, who had his left arm shattered during 
the bombardment. After the surrender of Fort Hatteras, 
the Harriet Lane, in attempting to cross the Inlet, grounded, 
and remained ashore several days. 

Flag Officer Stringham, in his report. Union and Confed. 
Navies, Series 1, Vol 6, parje 122, says "that General Butler, 
on the steamer Fanny, went into the inlet to the rear of tlie 
forts to take possesion, and about 2:30 p. m., returned to the 
flagship, bringing with him three senior officers, viz. : Sam- 
uel Barron, Flag Officer C. S. N, commanding naval defences 
of North Carolina and Virginia ; William F. Martin, Colo- 
nel of the Seventh Regiment North Carolina Volunteers ; 
Major W. S. G. Andrews, commanding Forts Hatteras and 
Clark. The officers and troops captured were carried North 
on the flagship Minnesota." See Commander Rowan's let- 
ter to Warren Winslow, Esq., Military Secretary, same vol- 
ume at page 155. 

The Ellis returned to the Island of Portsmouth, and 
taking on board the officers' wives and other families sojourn- 

North Carolina Navy. 303 

ing there, proceeded to Washington, North Carolina, arriv- 
ing there on the afternoon of the 30th. The Winsloir and 
other ships were ordered to New Bern, N. C. 

Flag Officer Wm. F. Lynch having been ordered to com- 
mand the naval defences of North Carolina and Virginia, 
ordered Commander Mnse to keep close watch from the 
mouth of the Pamlico river. Similar orders were given to 
Lieutenant Commander "W. 11. Parker, commanding the 
Beaufort, to keep a lookout from the mouth of the Neuse 
river. On 29 October the Ellis left Pamlico Point for New 

On the 30th Lieutenant-Commander J. W. Cooke took 
command of the Ellis, Commander Muse being ordered to 
the command of the naval station at Wilmington, when the 
propeller. Uncle Ben, was fitted out as a gun-boat, and sta- 
tioned inside of New Inlet. The Uncle Ben, as I remember, 
was turned over to the Confederate Government by the State 
of North Carolina. 

The vessels under Flag Officer Lynch were assembled in 
the sounds of North Carolina, where he cruised to intercept 
any steamer that might be found in the sounds. 

"On the afternoon of 1 October, the Federal steamer 
Fanny, mounting two rifled cannon and loaded with ammu- 
nition and supplies for the Federal forces at Loggerhead In- 
let, was sighted. After an engagement Avith the Curlew, 
Baleigh and Junalusl'i, lasting fifty- five minutes, the Fanny 
surrendered." See Colonel Wright's report. Union and Con- 
fed. Navies, iSeries 1, Vol. 6, page 218. This was the first 
naval success in North Carolina, and the first capture made 
of an armed vessel of the enemy. 

I am indebted to Mr. Lames W. McCarrick, of Norfolk, 
who was a master's mate in the North Carolina Navy, for 
the following, in reference to the saving of the officers and 
crew of the French corvette Proney: 

"On 4 November, 1861, the French Corvette Proney, Com- 
mander DeFontanges, was wrecked at Ocracoke Inlet. The 
steamer ^yinslou', Master Patrick McCarrick, commanding, 

304 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

went to their assistance, and coming into Ocracoke Inlet, she 
struck on the wreck of a sunken vessel and was sunk. The 
officers and crew of the Proney and 'Winslow were taken off 
by the Curlew, Lieutenant-Commander Thomas T. Hunter, 
without the loss of a man. Commander DeFontanges and 
his officers were carried to jSTorfolk, where they were cordially 
and hospitably received by the naval officers and citizens. 
The French Vice Consul, Leon Schisano, of TsTorfolk, Va., 
formally thanked Master McCarriok, his officers and crew 
for the rescue." 

The land and naval fight at Roanoke Island took place on 
7 and 8 February, 1862, the odds being greatly against the 
Confederate forces. The fleet under Commodore Lynch was 
composed of eight small steamers and one schooner, each 
steamer being mounted with one 32-pounder and the schooner 
with two 32-pounders. The following are the names of the 
vessels: The Seabird (Commodore Lynch's flagship), Lieu- 
tenant-Commanding Patrick McCarrick; Curlew, Lieuten- 
ant-Commander Thomas T. Hunter; Ellis, Lieutenant-Com- 
mander J. W. Cooke; Appomattox, Lieutenant-Commander 
C. C. Simms ; Beaufort, Lieutenant-Commander W. H. Par- 
ker; Raleigh, Lieutenant-Commander J. W. Alexander; 
Fanny, Midshipman Commanding Taylor ; Forest, Lieuten- 
ant-Commanding James L. Hoole; and the schooner Blach 
Warrior, Lieutenant Harris. The enemy's fleet consisted of 
about thirty gun-boats mounted with guns of 9, 10 and 11- 
inch calibre. The fight lasted through the entire day. All 
of the ammunition of the fleet having been exhausted, at 
night Commodore Lynch called a consultation of his officers, 
when it was decided to fall back to Elizabeth City, which was 
done during the night, arriving there on the morning of the 
8th, when Commodore Lynch sent express to ISTorfolk for 
more ammunition, which he received the next day. 

On the morning of the 10th the fleet, under Commodore 
Rowan, "renewed the fight off Elizabeth City, N. C, when 
after a desperate resistance all of the vessels were either cap- 
tured or sunk, with the exception of the Raleigh and Beau- 
fort, which escaped, passing through the canal, arriving in 

North Carolina Navy. 305 

safety at Norfolk, where they were heard from again in the 
naval engagement in Hampton Roads between the United 
States ships and the Confederate States iron-clad Virginia. 
The Beavfort at this time was in command of Lieutenant 
William Sharp, who was captured at the fall of Hatteras, but 
who in the meantime had been exchanged. 

I here append the official reports of Flag Officer W. F. 
Lynch and Lieutenant-Commander J. W. Cooke. 

Report of Flag Officer Lyxch^ C. S. Navy, Comaeaxd- 
iNG Naval Defences of North Carolixa and Virginia. 

{Official Records Union and Confed. Navies, Series 1, Vol. 
6, Page, 59 Jf.) 

''Petersburg, Va., 18 February, 1862. 

'"Sir : — I have the honor to report that the enemy on the 
Tth instant, at 10 :30 a. m., made an attack upon the squadron 
under my command and the battery at Pork Point, Roanoke 
•Island. His force consisted of from 80 to 100 sail, of wdiich 
22 heavy steamers and one tug constituted the attacking force. 
This last division was again subdivided, one portion assailing 
us and the other the battery ; but whenever we approached 
too near, the fire of the whole, except two or three close in- 
shore, would be concentrated upon us. As his force was 
overwhelming, we commenced the action at long range, but as 
our shells fell short, whilst his burst over and around us, 
we were eventually compelled to lessen the distance. 

"The fight lasted continuously until 5 p. m., when the en- 
emy withdrew foi- the night. The soldiers in the battery sus- 
tained their position under a terrific fire with a gallantry 
which won our warmest admiration. At times the entire 
battery would be enveloped in the sand and dust thrown up 
l)y shot and shell, and jet the casualties were only one man 
killed and three wounded. The earthwork, however, was 
very much cut up, but doubtless repaired during the night. 
I deem it proper to say thus much of the battery, because, in 
all probability, this communication will reach you before in- 
telligence is received from tlie appropriate official source. 

"Repeatedly in the course of the day I feared that our 

306 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

little squadron of seven vessels would be utterly demolished, 
lont a merciful Providence preserved us. Master-Coimnand- 
:ing Hoole, of the Forrest, received a wound in the head which 
"was at first pronounced serious, if not mortal, but 1 trust that 
"this promising young officer, who so bravely fought his ship, 
will be spared to the service. IMidshipman Camm, acting 
as executive officer of the Ellis, had his left arm shot off, and 
the right arm of Seaman Ely, of the Curlew, was fractured. 
These, with three others slightly wounded, constitute the 
sum of our personal casualties. Our physical ones were seri- 
ous. About 2:30 p. m., a heavy shell perforated the deck 
of the Curlew, passed through the magazine, and, driving out 
one of the iron plates, of which her bottom consists, caused 
her to fill so rapidly as to make it necessary to run toward 
the shore, near which she sank. About the same time the 
Forrest was disabled by the displacement of her propeller. 
We received other injuries from shot and shell (one of the 
latter passing through the flagship, but above the water line), 
but none of a serious character. 

^'Witli the exception of the vessels named, we could have 
been prepared for action the ensuing day, if we only had 
ammunition, but I had not one charge of powder nor a loaded 
shell remaining, and few of the other vessels were better off. 
In common prudence, I should, perhaps, have reserved some 
for contingencies, but the battery was so sorely pressed that 
I felt bound to annoy its assailants as much as possible. 
During the latter part of the engagement, when our ammuni- 
tion was nearly exhausted, I sent to the upper battery for a 
suppl}^, but ten charges were all that could be spared. 

'"While recovering the rifled gun, and other articles of 
value from the wreck of the Curleir, I sent Lieutenant-Com- 
manding Parker with the Beaufort, to the upper battery with 
a note for the commanding officer on the island, informing 
him of our shortness of ammunition and of my intention to 
proceed to Elizabeth City, thirty-five miles distant, for a sup- 
ply, and return immediately. 

"I felt sure that Pork Point Battery coiild hold out, and 
earnestly hoped that, profiting by the mistake at Hatteras, 
the enemy, who had landed on a point of marsh, would be at- 

North Carolina Navy. 307 

tacked and defeated during' the night. With this conviction 
and in this hope, with the Forrest in tow, I proceeded with 
my little squadron to Elizabeth City for ammunition, but 
finding only a small quantity there, dispatched Commander 
Hunter express to JS^orfolk for it. 

''There were reasons for retiring on Norfolk, had I known 
that very little ammunition could be procured at Elizabeth 
City. But even had I known it, the desertion of that town, 
situated near the head of the Dismal Swamp Canal, would 
have been unseemly and discouraging, more particularly as 
I had urged the inhabitants to defend it to the last extremity, 

''In the conflict of the Tth instant Commander Hunter, 
Lieutenants-Commanding Cooke, Parker and Alexander, 
and Masters-Commanding McCarrick, Tayloe, Hoole and 
Harris bravely sustained the credit of the service, and the 
other officers and most of the crews of the vessels were scarce 
less zealous than their commanders. To Commander Hunter 
and Lieutenants-Commanding Cooke and Parker I am par- 
ticularly indebted. 

"Lieutenant-Commanding Simms was absent on detached 
service, and only returned at the close of the conflict, but ex- 
hibited such an eagerness to participate as to give assurance 
that if gratified he would have upheld his high rejmtation. 

"Having procured fuel and ammunition sufficient for two 
steamers, I left Elizabeth City in the Seahird, with the Ap- 
poviattox in company-, on the 9th instant for Poanoke Island 
with the purpose of rendering what assistance we could. At 
the mouth of the river we met a boat, from which we learned 
that our forces on the island had capitulated. We then con- 
tinued on in the hope of rescuing the men stationed at the 
Croatan floating battery, but were forced to retire upon the 
appearance of a division of the enemv's fleet, steering to- 
ward the river. 

"Immediately upon our return I sent an express to Gen- 
eral Henningsen and distributed the ammunition between 
the Seahird, Ellis, Appomattox, Beaufort, Fanny and the 
schooner Black Warrior, the gun-boats forming in line of bat- 
tle abreast across the river, a little above the fort, and the 
schooner moored parallel with and close to the eastern shore, 

308 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

opposite to Cobb's Point Battery, the latter consisting of 
four smooth-bore 32-pounders. The Curlew our largest 
steamer, had been sunk during the engagement off Roanoke 
Island; the Forrest was on the ways in Elizabeth City, un- 
dergoing repairs, and the Raleigh I had the day before sent 
up the canal to expedite forwarding ammunition from Nor- 
folk. Shortly after daylight on the 10th the enemy ap- 
peared in sight, and it was reported by the lookout that he 
was landing troops below. I immediately went to the bat- 
tery to arrange for its defence, and found it ungarrisoned, 
in charge of a civilian and seven militiamen. As the bat- 
tery was our principal reliance, and the enemy must pass it 
before reaching the gimboats, I determined to defend it in 
person, and sent for Lieutenant-Commanding Parker, of the 
Beaufort, to bring on shore his ammunition, officers and 
crew, leaving only sufficient of the latter to take that vessel 
up to the canal. We at first manned three of the guns with 
the aid of the militiamen, but they speedily deserted, and we 
fought with only two 32-pounders. The enemy advanced 
very boldly and, contrary to my expectation, instead of tak- 
ing position as he did at Roanoke Island for the purpose of 
shelling out the battery, he continued to press on ; in one 
hour and five minutes succeeded in passing it, and, with full 
complements of men, closed upon our half-manned gun-boats. 

''The commanders of the latter were instructed, when 
their ammunition failed, to escape with their vessels if they 
could ; if not, to run into shoal water, destroy the signal 
books, set fire to the vessels and save their crews. 

"The Appomattox succeeded in making her escape ; the 
Seabird was sunk in the action ; the Ellis was overpowered 
and captured, and the Fanny ran aground and was set on fire 
by her commander, who brought her crew safely ashore. 

"By the capture or destruction of the gun-boats the enemy 
gained positions to enfilade the battery (the guns of which 
could no longer be brought to bear), bringing the magazine 
in their line of fire, and as further resistance would have 
availed nothing, the town being at their mercy, the guns of 
the battery were carefully spiked and the officers and men 
deliberatelv withdrawn. 

North Caeolina Navy. 309 

"The Forrest, in obedience to my orders, was burned by 
her officers before leaving Elizabeth City ; the Ellis was cap- 
tured; the Beaufort, Raleigh and Appomattox escaped; the 
Fanny was set on fire and blew up ; and the flagship was sunk, 
so that of our little squadron of gun-boats, the Ellis (next to 
the Forrest the most indifferent one) alone fell into the 
hands of the enemy. Of casualties, I regret to say that 
Acting Midshipman Jackson and one seaman of the Ellis, 
and Seamen Ballance and Bragg, of the Sea Bird, w^ere killed 
and one seaman of the Ellis and Third Assistant Engineer 
Henderson and four seamen of the Sea Bird were wounded. 

"The officers exhibited great gallantry, but were not uni- 
versally sustained by their men, for some of them, being raw 
recruits, shrank from a hand-to-hand encounter with a 
greatly su]ierior force. Until better informed, I cannot par- 
ticularize the conduct of the officers afloat, but will do them 
full justice in a future communication. 

"Lieutenant-Commanding Parker, Acting Master John- 
son, and Acting Midshipmen Gardner and Mallory were with 
me in the battery, and by cool intrepidity sustained the con- 
fidence I placed in them. To Lieutenant-Commanding Par- 
ker I am specially indebted, as well for his brave deportment 
in battle as for the judicious manner he conducted upward of 
fifty officers and men from Elizabeth City to Norfolk. Mr. 
Hinrick, the ei^'ilian mIioui we found in charge of the bat- 
tery, stood by us to the last, and deserves to be gratefully re- 

"Wm. F. Lynch, 
"Flag Officer, Commanding Naval Defences of North Caro- 
lina and Virginia. 

"Hon. S. E. ]\Lallory, Secretary of the Navy, Richmond." 

Report of Lieutexaxt Cooke, C. S. Navy, Commanding 

C. S. S. Eelis. 

(Official Becords Union and Confed. Navies, Series 1, Vol. 

6, Page 597..) 

"Waeeenton, N. C, 16 April, 1862. 

"Sir: — In consequence of being wounded in my right arm, 

and unable to write, I have until now deferred making out to 

310 North Carolina Troops, 1861 -'65. 

you my official report of the engagements of the 8th (7th) and 
11th (10th) of February. 

"That of the 8th (7th), at Roanoke IsLqnd, commenced 
about 10:30 a. m., at long range. At 2 p. m., finding all of 
my ammunition expended, I obtained your permission to be 
supplied from the Forrest. As I procured that, she had 
dropped out of the enemy's range in a crippled condition. I 
very soon expended all that she had, and soon after the Cur- 
leiv becoming disabled and in a sinking condition, I was 
again supplied from her, and renewed the attack. At about 
4:30 p. m., as we were retiring from the engagement, the 
firing having generally ceased, Midshipman Camm, the sec- 
ond in command, had his left arm taken off just below the 
shoulder by a Parrott shell. He had fired bis eighty-fourth 
round when wounded, and I can not speak too highly of this 
efficient and meritorious officer, who had bravely performed 
his duty throughout the action. I then, by your order, went 
to the assistance of the Curlew to remove ordnance and ord* 
nance stores, etc., to the schooner Blade Warrior, for the pur- 
pose of falling back to Elizabeth City, where we arrived on 
Saturday morning, and where we were attacked on Monday, 
the 11th f 10th), by the Federal gun-boats by an overwhelm- 
ing and overpowering force. In consequence of the width of 
the river, the enemy were enabled to run down upon us with 
his entire force, numbering, I think, fourteen gun-boats, any 
one of which was superior to ours, and of a heavier metal. 
Being surrounded and boarded by two of the enemy's vessels, 
and having made every possible effort to resistance, and see- 
ing that further resistance was useless, I gave the order to 
blow^ the vessel up, which was prevented liy one of my negro 
coal heavers discovering it and betraying it to the enemy. I 
also gave the order for the men to save themselves, if possible, 
we being very near the shore, one of the gun's crew being 
killed and several wounded. The rest left the vessel, and, in 
endeavoring to make their way to the shore. Midshipman 
Jackson, the second in command (who came on board in the 
place of Mr. Camm), was wounded, and died in twenty 
hours on board one of the Federal vessels. Several of the 

North Carolina Navy. 311 

men were also wounded in the water, one, I believe, mortally, 
William Walker, ordinary seaman. 

"Midshipman Jackson was a meritorious and promising 
officer, and the country has sustained a loss in his death. 

"I must here speak of the efficient services of Mr. Knight 
(rated as fireinan, but performing the duties of boatswain, 
gunner, and watch officer) ; Mr. Mayo, the pilot ; also Mr. 
Bagley, the clerk, and the crew, all of whom performed their 
respective duties with promptness and efficiency. 

"After the surrender, I am sorry to say, that the two negro 
coal heavers and the steward, as also one or two of the men 
from the Sea BWd, deserted to the enemy, when called upon 
in my presence to take their parole. 

"Very respectfullv, vour obedient servant, 

"J. W. Cooke, 
"Lieutenant Commanding Ellis. 
"Plag Officer W. F. Lynch, Commanding Virginia and 
North Carolina Naval Defences." 

Commander John N. Maffitt, C. S. N., in his reminiscences 
(published in United Service Magazine, 1880), writ- 
ing of the engagement in Albemarle Sound and Elizabeth 
City, says in reference to the steamer Ellis, as follows : 

"The Ellis, commanded by James W. Cooke, resisted to 
the bitter end. Boarders swarmed on board of her. and were 
met, cutlass in hand, by the dauntless captain who, though 
badly A\ounded by a musket ball and by a thrust from a bay- 
onet, fought Avith the fierceness of a tiger, refusing to sur- 
render or haul down his flag. 

"Overpowered by numbers he was borne to the deck, and 
would have been slaughtered on the spot, but for the generous 
interference of an old associate, who caused him to be safely 
conveyed to Commodore Row^an's flagship, where extreme 
kindness was extended. . 

"The naval battles in Albemarle Sound and off Elizabeth 
City reflected much credit upon the personal courage of all 
the Confederate officers therein engaged. With mere abor- 
tions for gun-boats, badly armed and spare of ammunition, 

312 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

they confronted without hesitation the well-equipped and 
powerful vessels of the North." 

The officers and crew of the Ellis and Sea Bird captured at 
Elizabeth City on 10 February, were taken to Roanoke Island 
and there on the 12th Avere released on parole and allowed to 
return to their homes to remain until exchanged. 

Commander W. T. Muse, the first commander of the Ellis, 
was born in Pasquotank county, N. C, and entered the ser- 
vice of the United States Navy as midshipman. He resigned 
on the secession of his native State, having attained to the 
rank of Commander. 

J. W. Cooke, who succeeded Commander Muse in the Ellis, 
was born at Beaufort, N. C, and entered the United States 
Navy as a midshipman. After being exchanged he was sent 
to Edward's Ferry, on the Roanoke river, to superintend the 
building by Gilbert Elliott, of the iron-clad Alheinarle, and 
which vessel he afterwards commanded and fought with such 
gallantry at Plymouth, N. C. 

Thomas M. Crossan was of l^orthern birth, but having 
married a lady from North Carolina, on the secession of the 
State he cast his fortunes with her, and noble service did he 
perform as the first commander of the Minslow, and after- 
wards as commander of the North Carolina blockade-runner 
Ad-Tuncc, which successfully ran the blockade a number of 
times, bringing in the much needed supplies for the North 
Cai'olina troops in the fields. 

Master McCarrick, who succeeded Commander Crossan 
and Sinclair as connnander of the steamer AYvnsloiv, was of 
Irish birth, lived in Norfolk, and on the purchase of his ves- 
sel by the State of North Carolina, he entered her navy as 
a master, and up to the day of his death was a great admirer 
of the Old North State. Vice Consul Schisano's letter of 
thanks for assistance rendered the French Corvette Pronej 
is still in possession of the McCarrick family. 

Lieutenant-Commander J. W. Alexander, formerly of the 
United States Navy, commander of the Rale igk, Avas born in 
Lincoln county. North Carolina. He was captured off Sa- 
vannah in 18G3, and taken to Fort Warren, whence he made 

North Carolina Navy. 313 

a thrilling, but ineffectual, attempt to escape, an account of 
which is given by him in this work. 

In writing this sketch I have endeavored only to follow 
those boats which composed the North Carolina Navy, and 
which the State turned over to the Confederate States Navy. 

Adam Tredwell. 
Norfolk, Va.. 

28 October, 1901. 

Note. — Captain Adam Tredwell was Secretary to Commodore Muse 
and Acting Paymaster in North Carolina Navy. In 1862 he was com- 
missioned Assistant Paymaster in the Confederate States Nav}^ and 
attached to the Staff of Commodore W. F Lynch and Commodore E F. 
Pinckney with headquarters at Wilmington, N. C. Since the war he has 
been and is now one of the most prominent business men of Norfolk. 
North Carolina's Navy consisted of the seven vessels first above named. 
She sold and transferred them to the Confederate Navy in the fall of 
1801.— Ed. 


No adequate Roster of the North Carolinians, other than 
officers, serving in the Confederate Na\'y has been kept. 
In Moore's Roster, Vol. 4, p. 443--448 is an imperfect roll 
of the North Carolina rank and file in Navy service. In 
Vol. 4 of this work at page 402 is a scant reference to the 
North Carolinians serving in the Naval Battalion. No 
doubt, those in the Navy formed a considerable part of the 
^'3,100 men from this State serving in other commands and 
not. borne on our rolls" which were reported by the Adjutant 
General 19 November, 1864. 





By Her Builder, GILBERT ELLIOTT,* Adjutant 17th N. C. T. 

During the Spring of 1863, having been previously en- 
gaged in unsuccessful efforts to construct war vessels, of one 
sort or another, for the Confederate Government, at different 
points in Eastern Korth Carolina and Virginia, I undertook 
a contract with the Navy Department to build an iron-clad 
gun-boat, intended, if ever completed, to operate on the waters 
of Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds. Edward's Ferry on the 
Eoanoke river, in Halifax County, North Carolina, about 30 
miles below the town of Weldon, was fixed upon as the most 
suitable for the purpose. The river rises and falls, as is well 
known, and it was necessary to locate the yard on ground suf- 
ficiently free from overflow to admit of uninterrupted work 
for at least twelve months. No vessel was ever constructed 
under more adverse circumstances. The shipyard was es- 
tablished in a corn field, where the ground had already been 
marked out and planted for the coming crop, but the owner of 
the land, W. R. Smith, Esq., was in hearty sympathy with 
the enterprise, and aided me then and afterwards, in a thou- 
sand ways, to accomplish the end I had in view. It was next 
to impossible to obtain machinery suitable for the work in 
hand. Here and there, scattered about the surrounding 
country, a portable saw mill, blacksmith's forge, or other ap- 
paratus was found, however, and the citizens of the neighbor- 
hoods on both sides of the river were not slow to render me 

Note. — Gilbert Elliott was born at Elizabeth City, 10 December, 1843, 
and hence was only 19 years of age when he nndertook to bnild the Al- 
bemarle After the war he practiced law in Norfolk, Ya., St. Lonis and 
New York. He was a brother of Captain < harles G. Elliott, A. A. G., 
of the Martin-Kirkland brigade and of Warren G. Elliott, now President 
of the W. & W. R R. Company. He died at Staten Island. N Y.. 9 
May, 1895. This article appeared in the "Century" Magazine, July " 
by whose kind permission it is reproduced here. — Ed. 

316 North Carolina Troops, 1861 -'65. 

assistance, but co-operated, cordially, in the completion of the 
iron-clad, and at the end of about one year from the laying 
of the keel, during which innumerable difficulties were over- 
come by constant application, determined effort, and inces- 
sant labor, day and night, success crowned the efforts of those 
engaged in the undertaking. 

Seizing an opportunity offered by comparatively high 
water, the boat was launched, though not without misgiv- 
ings as to the result, for the yard being on a Ijluff she had to 
take a jump, and as a matter of fact was ''hogged" in the at- 
tempt, but to our great gratification did not thereby spring a 

The plans and specifications were prepared by John L. 
Porter, Chief Constructor of the Confederate Navy, who 
availed himself of the advantage gained by his experience in 
converting the frigate Merrimac into the iron-clad Virginia 
at the Gosport navy yard. 

The Albemarle was 152 feet long between perpendiculars; 
her extreme width was 45 feet ; her depth from the gun-deck 
to the keel was 9 feet, and when launched she drew 614 feet 
of water, but after being ironed and completed her draught 
was about 8 feet. The keel was laid, and construction was 
commenced by bolting down, across the center, a piece of 
frame timljer, which was of yellow pine, eight hj ten inches. 
Another frame of the same size was then dovetailed into this, 
extending outwardly at an agle of 45 degrees, forming the 
side, and at the outer end of this the frame for the shield was 
also dovetailed, the angle being 35 degrees, and then the top 
deck was added, and so on around to the other end of the bot- 
tom beam. Other l>eams were then bolted down to the keel, 
and to the one first fastened, and so on, working fore and aft, 
the main deck Ijeams being interposed from stem to stern. 
The shield was 00 feet in length and octagonal in form. When 
this part of the work was completed she w^as a solid boat, built 
of pine frames, and if calked would have floated in that con- 
dition, Init she was afterwards covered with 4-inch planking, 
laid on longitudinally, as ships are usually planked, and this 
was properly calked and pitched, cotton being used for calk- 
ing instead of oakum, the latter being very scarce and the 

The Ram "AlbExMarle." 317 

former almost the only article to be had in abundance. Much 
of the timber was hauled long distances. Three portable 
saw mills were obtained, one of which was located at the yard, 
the others being moved about from time to time to such grow- 
ing timber as could be procured. 

The iron plating consisted of tw^o courses, 7 inches wide 
and 2 inches thick, mostly rolled at the Tredegar Iron Works, 
Richmond. The first course was laid lengthwise, over a 
wooden backing, 16 inches in thickness, a 2-inch space, filled 
in with wood, being left between each two layers to afford 
space for bolting the outer course through the whole shield, 
and the outer course was laid flush, forming a smooth surface, 
similar to that of the Virginia. The inner part of the shield 
was covered with a thin course of planking, nicely dressed, 
mainly with a view to protection from splinters. Oak knees 
w^ere bolted in, to act as braces and suj^ports for the shield. 

The armament consisted of two rifled "Brooke" guns 
mounted on pivot-carriages, each gun working through three 
port-holes, as occasion required, there being one port-hole at 
each end of the shield and two on each side. These Avere pro- 
tected by iron covers lowered and raised by a contrivance 
worked on the gun-deck. She had two propellers driven by 
two engines of 200-horse poAver, each, with 20-inch cylinders, 
steam being supplied by two flue boilers, and the shafting was 
geared together. 

The sides were covered from the knuckle, four feet below 
the deck, Avdtli iron plates two inches thick. 

The prow was built of oak, running 18 feet back, on center 
keelson, and solidly bolted, and it was covered on the outside 
with iron plating, 2 inches thick, and, tapering off to a 4-inch 
edge, formed the ram. 

The work of ]iutting on the armor was prosecuted for some 
time under the most disheartening circumstances, on account 
of the difficulty of drilling holes in the iron intended for her 
armor. But one small engine and drill could be had, and it 
required, at the best, twenty minutes to drill an inch and a 
quarter hole through the plates, and it looked as if we would 
never accomplish the task. But "necessity is the mother of 
invention," and one of my associates in the enterprise, Peter 

318 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

E. Smith, of Scotland Xeck, Xortli Carolina, invented and 
made a twist-drill with which the work of drilling a hole 
could be done in four minutes, the drill cutting out the iron 
in shavings instead of fine powder. 

For many reasons it Avas thought judicious to remove the 
boat to the town of Halifax, about twenty miles up the river, 
and the Avork of completion, putting in her machinery, arma- 
ment, etc., was done at that point, although the actual finish- 
ing touches Avere not given until a fcAv days before going into 
action at Plymouth. 

Forges Avere erected on her decks, and blacksmiths and car- 
penters Avere kept hard at Avork as she floated down the river 
to her destination. 

Captain James W. Cooke, of the Confederate XaAy, a na- 
tiA^e of North Carolina, Avas detailed by the department to 
Avatch the construction of the A'essel and to take command 
Avhen she Avent into commission. He made eA^ery effort to 
hasten the completi<:)u of the boat. He Avas a bold and gallant 
officer, and in the battles in Avhich he subsequently engaged 
he proA''ed himself a hero. Of him it Avas said that ''he aa'ouM 
fight a poAvder magazine Avith a coal of fire," and if such a 
necessity could by any possibility liaA^e existed he Avould, 
doubtless, liaA'e been equal to the occasion. 

In the Spring of 1864 it had been decided at headquarters 
that an attempt should be made to recapture the tOAvn of Ply- 
mouth. General Hoke Avas j^laced in command of the land 
forces, and Captain Cooke received orders to co-operate. Ac- 
cordingly Hoke's Division proceeded to the vicinity of Ply- 
mouth and surrounded the toAvn from the river above to the 
river beloAv, and preparation Avas made to storm the forts and 
breastAvorks as soon as the Albemarle could clear the river 
front of the Federal Avar vessels protecting the place AA^ith 
their guns. 

On the morning of 18 April, 1864, the Albemarle left the 
toAvn of Hamilton and proceeded doAATi the river tOAvards Ply- 
mouth, going stern foremost, Avith chains dragging from the 
boAv, the rapidity of the current making it impracticable to 
steer with her head down stream. She came to anchor about 
three miles above Plymouth, and a mile or so above the bat- 

The Ram "Albemarle." 319 

tery on the bluff at Warren's jSTeck, near Thoroughfare Gap, 
where tor^Dedoes, sunken vessels, piles, and other obstructions 
had been placed. An exploring expedition was sent out, un- 
der conunand of one of the Lieutenants, which returned in 
about two hours, with the report that it was considered impos- 
sible to pass the obstruction. Thereupon the fires were 
banked, and the officers and crew not on duty retired to rest. 
Having accompanied Captain Cooke as a volunteer aide, 
and feeling intensely dissatisfied with the apparent intention 
of lying at anchor all that night, and believing that it was 
"then or never" with the ram if she was to accomplish any- 
thing, and that it would be foolhardy to attempt the passage 
of the obstructions and batteries in the day time, I requested 
permission to make a personal investigation. Captain Cooke 
cordially assenting, and Pilot John Luck and tw^o of the few 
experienced seamen on board volunteering their services, we 
get forth in a small lifeboat, taking with us a long pole, and 
arriving at the obstructions proceeded to take sounding. To 
our great joy it was ascertained that there was ten feet of 
water over and above the obstructions. This was due to the 
remarkable freshet then prevailing ; the proverbial "oldest in- 
habitant" said, afterwards, that such high water had never 
before been seen in Roanoke river. Pushing on down the 
stream to Plymouth, and taking advantage of the shadow of 
the trees on the north side of the river, opposite the town, we 
watched the Federal transports taking on board the women 
and children who were being sent away for safety, on account 
of the approaching bombardment. With mufiled oars, and 
almost afraid to breathe, we made our way back up the river, 
hugging close to the northern bank, and reached the ram 
about 1 o'clock, reporting to Captain Cooke that it was prac- 
ticable to pass the obstructions provided the boat was kept in 
the middle of the stream. The indomitable commander in- 
stantly aroused his men, gave the order to get up steam, slip- 
ped the cables in his impatience to be off, and started down 
the river. The obstructions were soon reached and safely 
passed, under a fire from the fort at Warren's ISTeck which 
was not returned. Protected by the iron-clad shield, to those 
on board the noise made by the shot and shell as they struck 

320 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

the boat sounded no louder than pebbles thrown against an 
empty barrel. At Boyle's Mill, lower down, there was an- 
other fort upon which was mounted a very heavy gun. This 
was also safel}' passed, and we then discovered two steamers 
coming up the river. They proved to be the Miami and the 
Southfield. The Miami carried 6 9-inch guns, 1 100-pounder 
Parrott rifle, and 1 24-pounder S. B. howitzer, and the ferry 
boat Soutlipcld 5 9-inch, 1 100-pounder Parrott and 1 12- 
pounder howitzer. 

The tAvo ships were lashed together with long spars, and 
with chains festooned between them. The plan of Captain 
Flusser, who commanded, was to run his vessels so as to get 
the Albemarle between the tAvo, which would have placed the 
ram at a great disadvantage, if not altogether at his mercy ; 
but Pilot John Luck, acting under orders from Captain 
Cooke, ran the ram close to the southern shore ; and then sud- 
denly turning toward the middle of the stream, and going 
with the current, the throttles, in obedience to his bell, being 
wide open, he dashed the prow of the Albemarle into the side 
of the Southfield, making an o])ening large enough to carry 
her to the bottom in much less time than it takes to tell the 
story. Part of her crew went down with her. Of the of- 
ficers and men of the Southfield, seven of the former, includ- 
ing Acting Volunteer Lieutenant C. A. French, her com- 
mander, and forty-two of her men were rescued by the Miami 
and the other Union vessels ; the remainder were either cap- 
tured or drowned. 

The chain-plates on the forward deck of the Albemarle be- 
came entangled in the frame of the sinking vessel, and her 
bow was carried down to such a depth that water poured into 
her port-holes in great volume, and she would soon have 
shared the fate of the Southfield, had not the latter vessel 
reached the bottom, and then, turning over on her side, re- 
leased the ram, thus allowing her to come up on an even keel. 
The Miami, right alongside, had opened fire with her heavy 
guns, and so close were the vessels together that a shell with a 
ten-second fuse, fired by Captain Flusser, after striking the 
Albemarle rebounded and exploded, killing the gallant man 
who pulled the laniard, tearing him almost to pieces. Not- 

The Ram "Albemarle." 321 

withstanding the death of Fhisser, an attempt was made to 
board the ram, which was heroically resisted by as many of 
the crew as could be crowded on the top deck, who were sup- 
plied with loaded muskets passed up by their comrades below. 
The Miami, a powerful and very fast side- wheeler, succeeded 
in eluding the Albemarle without receiving a blow from her 
ram, and retired below Plymouth, into Albemarle Sound. 

Captain Cooke having successfully carried out his part of 
the programme. General Hoke attacked the fortifications the 
next morning and carried them ; not, however, without heavy 
loss. Ransom's Brigade alone leaving 500 dead and wounded 
on the field, in their most heroic charge upon the breastworks 
protecting the eastern front of the town. General Wessells, . 
commanding the Federal forces, made a gallant resistance, 
and surrendered only when further effort would have been 
worse than useless. During the attack the Albemarle held 
the river front, according to contract, and all day long poured 
shot and shell into the resisting forts with her two guns. 

On 5 May, 1864, Captain Cooke left the Roanoke river 
with the Albemarle and two tenders, the Bombshell and Cot- 
ton Plant, and entered tlie Sound with the intention of recov- 
eriiig, if possible, the control of the two Sounds, and ulti- 
mately of Hatteras Inlet. He proceeded about sixteen miles 
on an east-northeasterly course, A\hen the Federal squadron, 
consisting of seven well-armed gun-boats, the Mattabesett, 
Sassacus, Wyalusing, Whitehead, Miami, Commodore Hull, 
and Ceres, all under the command of Captain Melancthon 
Smith, hove in sight, and at 2 o'clock that afternoon approach- 
ed in double line of battle, the Mattabesett being in advance. 
They proceeded to surround the Albemarle, and hurled at her 
their heaviest shot, at distances averaging less than one hun- 
dred yards. The Union fleet, as we now know, had 32 guns 
and 23 howitzers, a total of 55. The Albemarle responded 
effectively, but her boats were soon shot away, her smoke- 
stack was riddled, many iron plates in her shield were injured 
and broken, and the after-gun was broken off eighteen inches 
from the muzzle, and rendered useless. This terrible fire 
continued, without intermission, until about 5 p. m., when 
the commander of the double-ender Sassacus selected his op- 

522 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

^ortunity, and with all steam on struck the Albemarle 
squarely just abaft her starboard beam, causing every timber 
in the vicinity of the blow to groan, though none gave way. 
The pressure from the revolving wheel of the Sassacus was 
so great that it forced the after deck of the ram several feet 
below^ the surface of the water, and created an impression on 
board that she was about to sink. Some of the crew became 
demoralized, but the calm voice of the undismayed captain 
-checked the incipient disorder, with the command, "Stand to 
jour guns, and if we must sink let us go down like brave 

The Albemarle soon recovered, and sent a shot at her as- 
nsailant which passed through one of the latter's boilers, the 
liissing steam disabling a number of the crew. Yet the disci- 
pline of the Sassacus was such that, notwithstanding the nat- 
■ural consternation under these appalling circumstances, two 
•of her guns continued to fire on the Albemarle until she 
drifted out of the arena of battle. Two of the fleet attempted 
to foul tlie })ropellers of the ram with a large fishing seine 
which they had previously procured for the purpose, but the 
line parted in paying it out. Then they tried to blow her up 
wdth a torpedo, but failed. Xo better success attended an 
effort to throw a keg of gunpowder down her smoke-stack, or 
what was left of it, for it was riddled with holes from shot 
and shell. This smoke-stack had lost its capacity for draw- 
ing, and the boat lay a helpless mass on the water. While in 
this condition every effort was made by her numerous ene- 
mies to destroy her. The unequal conflict continued until 
night. Some of the Federal vessels were more or less disa- 
bled, and both sides were doubtless well content to draw off. 
Captain Cooke had on board a supply of bacon and lard, and 
this sort of fuel being available to burn without draught from 
a smoke-stack, he was able to make sufficient steam to get the 
boat back to Plymouth, where she tied up to her wharf cov- 
ered with wounds and with glory. 

The Albemarle in her different engagements was struck a 
great many times by shot and shell, the upper section alone of 
the smoke-stack has 114 holes made by shot and shell, and yet 
fcut one man lost his life, and that was caused by a pistol-shot 

The Ram "Albemarle." 323 

from the Miami,, the imprudent sailor having put his head 
out of one of the port-holes to see what was going on outside. 
Captain Cooke was at once promoted and placed in com- 
mand of all the Confederate naval forces in Eastern Xorth 
Carolina. The Albemarle remained tied to her wharf at 
Plymouth until the night of 27 October, 1864, when Lieuten- 
ant William B. Crushing, of the United States I*^avy, per- 
formed the daring feat of destroying her with a torpedo. 
Having procured a torpedo-boat so constructed as to be very 
fast, for a short distance, and with the exhaust steam so ar- 
ranged as to be noiseless, he proceeded, with a crew of four- 
teen men, up the Roanoke river. Guards had been stationed 
by the Confederate military connnander on the wreck of the 
South field, whose top deck was then above water, but they 
failed to see the boat. A boom of logs had been arranged 
around the Albemarle, distant about thirty feet from her side. 
Captain Cooke had planned and superintended the construc- 
tion of this arrangement before giving up the command of 
the vessel to Captain A. F. Warley. Cushing ran his boat up 
to these logs, and there, under a hot fire, lowered and ex- 
ploded the torpedo under the Alberaarle's bottom, causing her 
to settle down and finally to sink at tlie wharf. The torpedo- 
boat and crew were captured ; but Cushing refusing to sur- 
render, though twice called u]:>on to do so, sprang into the 
river, dived to the bottom, and swam across to a swamp oppo- 
site the town, thus making his escape ; and on the next night, 
after having experienced great suffering, wandering through 
the SM'amp, he succeeded in obtaining a small canoe, and made 
his way back to the fleet. 

The river front being no longer protected, and no appli- 
ances for raising the sunken vessel being available, on 31 Oc- 
tober the Federal forces attacked and captured the town of 
Plymouth. The Albemarle was subsequently raised and 
towed to the Norfolk ISTavy Yard, and after being stripped of 
her armament, machinery, etc., she was sold, 1.5 October, 

Gilbert Elliott. 
St. Louis, Mo., 

20 April, 1888. 


y^EV BERN, 2 FEBRUARY. 1564. 

By B. p. LOYALL, Commander C. S. N. 

After the fall of Roanoke Island in the winter of 1862, the 
Federals had control of the sounds of JSTorth Carolina, and of 
some of the rivers emptying into them. They had occupied 
all the towns situated on the water, and among them New 
Bern, which lies at the confluence of the ISTeuse and Trent 
rivers, occupying an angle between the two — a place easily 
defended by the power having control of the water. They 
had built strong earthworks on the land side, stretching from 
river to river, and had several gunboats cruising about to pro- 
tect the place on the water side. 

Among these gunboats one was the Underwriter, which had 
been a heavy ocean tugboat at New York, and, purchased by 
the United States Government, had been converted into quite 
a formidable vessel of war. She w^as the ship that fired the 
first gun in the attack upon Roanoke Island, where the writer 
had the misfortune to be captured, and it may be said there 
was something like the rule of compensation w^hen he had a 
hand in capturing her. She was armed with two 8-inch guns, 
one 3-inch rifle and one 12-pounder howitzer, and had a crew 
of about 85 all told. Picture to yourself a steamer about the 
size of the Northampton, with very low guards and stripped 
of her sides or bulwarks, except a wooden rail with rope net- 
ting from ' that to her deck. The quiet possession of New 
Bern by the Federals had distressed and worried the patriotic 
peo^Dle of North Carolina, and General Hoke, than whom 
there was not a more competent or brilliant officer of his rank 
in the Confederate army, strongly advocated a quick move- 
ment upon the place by the army, assisted by the navy on the 
water, predicting certain success, and large reward in 
stores, munitions and prisoners. The matter took definite 

326 North Carolina Troops, 1861 -'65. 

shape in January, 1864, and it was decided to send Gen- 
eral Pickett with as much of his division as might be availa- 
ble to make the attempt. On Friday, 29 January, 1864, 
orders were received by the four ships lying at Drewry's 
Bluff, each to fit out a cutter fully armed for service 
on a secret expedition. oSTo one in the squadron knew of 
our destination, except myself and Captain Parker, serving 
on the Patrick Henry, and we were ordered to take five days' 
rations. I was put in command of that part of the expedi- 
tion, with confidential orders to report to Captain John Tay- 
lor Wood (his naval rank) at Kinston, N. C. 

To escape notice as much as possible we pulled down James 
river to the Appomattox, and reached Petersburg before day- 
light. There w^as a railway train waiting for us, and we 
hauled our boats out of the water, and, by hard Avork, loaded 
them on the flat cars before the people were up and about. 

We started off at once, and it was a novel sight to see a 
train like that — Jack sitting up on the seats of the boats and 
waving his hat to the astonished natives, who never saw such 
a circus before. Many of them had never seen a boat. We 
reached Kinston on Sunday morning, and immediately got 
the boats in the water of the Neuse river, dropped down a 
short distance below the village and put things in shape for 
the trial of battle. Captain Wood met us at Kinston (where 
we were joined by three boats fully armed from Wilmington, 
N. C.) and took command of the expedition. About 4 o'clock 
in the afternoon we shoved off from the river bank and started 
down for New Bern, which is about forty miles distant by the 

W^hen we had gotten some tAvo miles below the town orders 
were given for every man to put a band of white cotton cloth 
on the left arm, above the elbow, and the name ''Sumpter" 
was given as the watchword. 

These precautions are necessary in a night attack, as there 
are no flags in sight to rally upon. Every man was armed 
with a cutlass and navy revolver. 

Before dark the Commander ordered all boats to assem- 
ble together, and, as we floated down the quiet stream, he of- 
fered up the petitions from the prayer book to Almighty God 

Capture of the "Underwriter." 327 

for those about to engage iu battle. It was a solemn and im- 
pressive scene — just as the shades of evening were falling — 
this unusual assemblage of armed men. Then, with muffled 
oars a single line was formed, and we pulled with measured 
stroke down the stream. The river is narrow and full of 
turns, winding in and out, with low sedgy banks. Here and 
there huge cyj^ress and water oak trees, which almost lock 
their heavy branches over the stream. 

The night was so dark that we could not see each other, and 
often the leading boat ran into a shoal point, got aground, and 
the whole line would be jumbled up in a crowd. 

After 2 o'clock in the morning the river widened, and we 
began to see better around us. Soon we reached the mouth of 
Swift C-reek and sniffed the salt air from the sound. Every 
eye was strained to see a ship. We pulled in the direction of 
the town of New Bern, and searched in vain to find some- 
thing afloat, although we got close enough to the wharf to 
hear talking, probably the sentries on the dock. 

There was nothing to be done but find some refuge out of 
sight until next night, but it was hard letting down from the 
pitch of excitement and expectation we had been under — the 
unbending of the boAV that had been strung for action. We 
moved up the river some three or four miles to Bachelor's 
Creek, where among the reeds and rushes we tried to hide our- 
selves and rest until next night, and try it again. We felt 
very uneasy lest we should be discovered, and our purpose 
known ; for unless our attack should be a surprise, it would be 
useless and madness to undertake it. ]^o force in small 
boats, except in overwhelming numbers, can capture an armed 
ship, unless by taking her unawares. We spent a day of tedi- 
ous waiting. Officers and men laying low, spinning yarns 
and talking about our prospects. I happened to hear the 
talking in one of the groups, where a fine young officer said : 
"Fellows, where will we be this time to-morrow ?" He was 
among the killed, and it was such a lesson on the uncertainty 
of human life. Among those present were Hoge and Gard- 
ner and Henry Cooke and Gill and Palmer Saunders and 
Goodwin, from Virginia, and Gift and Porcher and Scharf 
and Williamson and Kerr and Poby, all trained at Annapolis 

328 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

and true as steel — among tliese three were from Norfolk and 
Portsmouth. In plain sight of us was a tall crow's nest, oc- 
cupied by a lookout of the Federal army on their picket line, 
and I assure you it gave us a creepy, uneasy feeling to think 
that our whole movement and intention might be discovered. 
And here let me remark that this very situation determines 
and exemplifies what I judge to be a man of war — a leader 
who does not allow his -plans to be upset by what he thinks 
the enemy is going to do. He must be always combative and 
not calculating chances. Wood paid no attention to doubts 
and surmises, but had his eye fixed upon boarding and cap- 
turing that ship, and doing his part in the fall of New Bern. 

We were in full hearing of Pickett's dashing attack upon 
the Federal outerworks that day, and knew that he was driv- 
ing them from the advanced line of fortifications. Before 
sunset Wood called for the swiftest boat, and, with the writer 
in company, pulled cautiously down the river, keeping close 
under the banks. We had not gone two miles, when simul- 
taneously we both cried : "There she is." 

We discovered a black steamer anchored close up to the 
right flank of the outer fortifications of New Bern, where she 
had come that day, and, having located her exactly, we re- 
tiTrned to our hiding place, with the understanding that we 
would attack her between 12 and 4 o'clock in the morning. 
Orders were given accordingly, and all hands were made to 
know the order of battle, and what they had to do. In rush- 
ing pell-mell upon the side of a ship with boats, they naturally 
rebound and leave a gap that is not easy to get across, so each 
bow oarsman was ordered to be ready to jump aboard with a 
grapnel as soon as she struck, and make her fast, and our 
coolest men were picked for that duty, which you will easily 
see is risky. Some time after midnight we got under way 
and pulled slowly down the river in two columns of four boats 
each, Wood to board her forward with his boats and I to board 
her abaft with mine. 

The night was very dark and gloomy, and we could not see 
a light anyAvhere, except an occasional glimmer about the 
town, but we knew pretty nearly where the vessel was, and 
with our glasses in the evening had made out her 1)uild and 

Capture of the "Underwriter." 329 

structure. The stroke of the muffled oars was ahnost noise- 
less, and suddenly the dark hull of the ship loomed up, and, 
it seemed almost at the same moment there came from her the 
shout: *'Boat, ahoy I" Then we heard the loud and cheer- 
ing cry from ^Vood : ''Give way, boys," which was caught up 
and echoed along both lines of boats. Then rang out loud and 
sharp from the ship the rattle, calling the men to quarters for 
action, and now the fight was on. Xo need for orders now to 
these disciplined men. I suppose the distance was about 
one hundred yards, and, while our men were straining at their 
oars, we heard the sharp click of rifles, and the only reply 
we could make was by the marines (three or four being in 
each boat) who delivered their fire with great coolness. 

It seems to me now that of all the uncomfortable things a 
fighting man might have to do, that of pulling an oar with his 
back to his foe must be the most trying and disheartening, 
but not a man weakened. In less time than is required to 
tell of this we were into her. Our boat struck the vessel just 
abaft the wheelhouse, where the guards make a platform, an 
admirable place for getting on board. The ship's armory, 
where all the small arms were kept, was in a room just there 
under the hurricane deck, and they did not stop to reload, but 
loaded guns were handed to the men, as fast as they could 
fire. It seemed like a sheet of flame, and the very jaws of 
death. Our boat struck bow on, and our bow oarsman, 
James Wilson, of Norfolk, (after the war Avith the Baker 
Wrecking Company) caught her with his grapnel, and she 
swung side on with the tide. 

As we jumped aboard Engineer Gill, of Portsmouth, 
among the first, was shot through the head, and as he fell 
dead our men gave a yell, and rushed upon the deck, with 
the crews of the two other boats close behind. ISTow the fight- 
ing was furious, and at close quarters. Our men were eager, 
and as one would fall another came on. Xot one faltered 
or fell back. The cracking of fi^-e arms and the rattle of cut- 
lasses made a deafening din. The enemy gave way slowly, 
and soon began to get away by taking to the ward room and 
engine room hatches below. 

Thev fell l)ack under the hurricane deck before the steady 

330 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

attack of our men, and at that time I heard the cheers and 
rush of our comrades from forward, and I knew we had 
them. They came along from forward with the cutlasses and 
muskets they had found, clubbing and slashing. In a short 
time I heard the cry: "We surrender.'' 

They coukl not stand the force and moral effect of an at- 
tack like that, and, remember, the}' were not Spaniards we 
were fighting. 

Wood gave the order to cease firing, and after a brief con- 
sultation, we ordered the two firemen we had with us to go 
down into the engine and fire room to see if they could get 
her under way and take her up the river, where we might 
put her in shape, and, as she was the largest vessel at New 
Bern we could have temporary command of the river. It 
was in the fight on the forward deck that the intrepid young 
Palmer Saunders gave up his life for his country. He at- 
tacked a stalwart sailor with his cutlass and killed him, but 
had his head split open and a shot in his side. I wish I could 
relate the deeds of individual prowess and gallantry, but in 
such a melee as that one has all he can do to keep on his feet 
and look out for himself. 

We found the fires banked and riot steam enough to turn 
the wheels over. At this juncture Fort Stevens opened fire 
upon our vessel, regardless of their own people. One shell 
struck part of her lever beam, went through a hen coop near 
where the marines were drawn up, and passed through her 
side. Upon further consultation we decided to burn her, and 
gave the order to man the boats, taking special care of our 
own and the enemy's wounded, and our dead, and all prison- 
ers we could get hold of. 

I thoiTght it very strange that the captain of the vessel 
could not be found, but upon inquiry among his men we 
learned that he had been wounded in the leg and had jumped 
overboard. He was drowned. 

Poor Palmer Saunders was carefully placed in a blanket, 
and laid in the bow of my boat, where he could be better sup- 
ported than aft. He was breathing, but entirely unconscious. 
Of course, some of the men missed their boats, as nobody 

Capture of the "Underwriter." 331 

stood upon the order of his going in the face of the firing 
from those forts. 

After seeing all the boats under my charge get away, we 
shoved off and pulled away from the ship. The duty of set- 
ting fire to the Underv:ritei- had been assigned to Lieutenant 
Hoge, of Wlieeling, a talented young officer of fine attain- 
ments and undaunted courage. When we had gotten half 
mile from the ship Wood pulled up towards our boats and 
asked if 1 had ordered the ship set afire. I said: "Yes," 
but it looked as if it had not been done successfully. Just 
then Hoge came along in his boat, and said that he had set 
fire to her. 

Wood ordered him to go on board and make sure of it, and 
he went promptly. Here was trying duty to perform. The 
forts were firing every few minutes in our direction, wildly, 
of course, as big guns cannot be aimed well at night, but you 
never can tell wdiere they are going to strike. 

In about ten minutes we saw a flame leap out of a win- 
dow forward of the wheelhouse, where the engineer's supplies 
were kept, and Hoge pulling away. In a very few minutes 
the whole expanse of water was lighted up, and you may be 
sure we struck out with a vim to rendezvous at Swift Creek, 
about six miles up the river, on the opposite side from jSTew 
Bern, Avhere Gen-eral Bearing had a small cavalry camp. As 
we were pulling up we could hear now and then the boom 
of the guns of the Undenvriter as they were discharged by 
heat from the burning ship, and just before reaching our 
landing place we heard the awful explosion of the sturdy ves- 
sel, when the fire reached her magazine. 

After daybreak we reached the place on the bank of the 
creek, where there was a clearing, and landed our cargo of 
dead and wounded and prisoners. 

As we were taking Saunders out of the boat he breathed 
his last, and so passed into the presence of God the soul of 
that young hero. 

As soon as the surgeon had made the wounded as comfort- 
able as possible under the circumstances, the prisoners were 
drawn up in line to make a list of them. As I passed down 
the line, a strapping big fellow, without any trousers on and 

332 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

barefooted, said: "Mj Lord, is that you?" I looked liim 
over and recognized him as an old quarter-gunner that had 
been shipmate with me in the frigate Congress ten -years be- 
fore, and among the wounded I was called to have a greeting 
from a young fellow, who had been a mizzen-topman in the 
same ship, and after the war got me to give him a certificate 
to secure his pension. 

Our casualties had been six killed, twenty-two wounded, 
all of them brought away. Two were missing and afterwards 
accounted for. The Federal loss was nine killed, eighteen 
wounded, and nineteen prisoners — about thirty of her crew 

The wounded and prisoners were promptly taken care of 
by General Dearing's command, and sent up to Kinston, Cap- 
tain Wood proceeded to Richmond at once. As soon as 
proper arrangements could be made the command was sum- 
moned to pay the last rite of burial of the dead. At 3 o'clock 
in the afternoon, under the stately pines that bordered the 
stream, I read the church service for the burial of the dead, 
and the bodies of our lamented comrades were tenderly laid 
in mother earth, there to rest until we shall all be summoned 
to the great assize. 

General Pickett's plans miscarried, it was alleged, by the 
failure of one of his brigadiers to make an attack at the ap- 
pointed time on the Trent river side of the defense. 

He withdrew his force leisurely and retired upon Kinston. 

I could never understand wli}' the other giTuboats at New 
Bern did not attack the Uiiderwriter after her capture by us. 
Instead of that, two of them got under v/ay and steamed 
around into Trent river, as fast as they could go. While we 
were getting ready to abandon the ship, it worried us very 
much to see one of those boats coming directly toAvard us, but 
she soon turned and went in the other direction, much to our 

In speaking of our casualties, it was said that there were 
two missing, and it was from laughable circumstances. When 
we took to our boats two of the men rushed to the stern where 
they saw a boat made fast, and they slided dowm into her. In 
a few moments other men piled into her, and "shove off" 

Capture of the "Underwriter." 333 

was the word. It soon developed that the boat had eight Yan- 
kees and two rebels on board, and these two poor fellows set 
up a fearful cry for help. We heard them howling from our 
boat, but could not see, nor imagine what it meant. The 
poor fellows were rowed ashore to IsTew Bern by their Yankee 
prisoners — so to speak. They were afterwards exchanged 
and I met one of them in Richmond. He said he never felt 
so mean in all his life, and he ahnost split his throat halloo- 
ing for us to get them out of the scrape. 

The attack upon New Bern was well planned, and we all 
know that the assault of that intrepid division was irresisti- 
ble, but here was another case where somebody had blundered. 
If General Pickett's orders had been carried out, there would 
have been another exemplification of the power of a navy, by 
its very absence in this case ; for the neutralizing of the help 
given by the Underwriter in the defense of ]Srew Bern would 
have made General Pickett's assault upon the right flank of 
those defenses a very different affair.* 

Referring to this capture Admiral Porter, United States 
Navy, wrote at that time: "This was rather a mortifying 
affair for the navy, however fearless on the part of the Con- 
federates. This gallant expedition was led by Commander 
John Taylor Wood. It was to be expected that with so many 
clever officers, who left the Federal navy and cast their for- 
tunes with the Confederates, such gallant action would often 
be attempted, and had the enemy attacked the forts, the 
chances are that they would have been successful, as the gar- 
rison was unprepared for an attack on the river flank, their 
most vulnerable side." 

That night our command pulled up to Kinston, tired and 
fagged from four days of work and unrest, and so we went 
back to our ships at Richmond. 


Norfolk, Va., 

2 February, 1901. 

*NoTE —General Pickett was evidently a favorite at Richmond and the 
command of this expedition, as of part of the charge at Gettysburg, was 
given him as opportunity to earn higher promotion. It is not improb- 
able that impartial history may write him down as unequal to his op- 
portunities How differently both would have turned out under a 
leader like Stonewall Jackson, or Pender, or Hoke. — Ed. 


By JAMES MAGLENN, Chief Engineer. 

This steamer, formerly called the "Lord Clyde," running 
between Dublin and Glasgow, was }uirchased by the State 
of JSTorth Carolina to carry out cotton and other Southern 
products, and bring in arms and supplies of clothing and medi- 
cines for the I^ortli Carolina State Troops, and was named 
the Ad- Vance.* 

I joined the ship on her first arrival in Wilmington, and 
was with her until captured September, 1864, with the ex- 
ception of one trip made from Wilmington to Nassau and re- 
turn, serving in different capacities ; first trip as second as- 
sistant engineer, second trip as first assistant engineer, then 
as chief engineer, making several successful trips, one to Liv- 
erpool for repairs, returning to Bermuda in June, 1864, 
thence to Wilmington. 

Some of her trips were very exciting and hazardous. On 
one occasion there were four steamers leaving St. Georges, 
Bermuda, including the Ad-Vance, for Wilmington. But 
two of these arrived in Wilmington. One put back to Ber- 
muda badly disabled ; the other Avas lost in the gale. On 
this occasion I Avas limited to twelve revolutions per minute 
for thirty-six hours, or during the severest of the gale, which 
was just enough for the ship to mind the helm, being head to 
the gale all this time and water increasing in the hold to such 
an extent that it got within six inches of the grate-bars. In 
fact, I thought our time had come and, therefore, informed 
Captain Wiley hoAv matters were in the engine and fire room, 
and that "avc could not hold out this way much longer." I 
suggested to him the importance of turning the ship around 
and running before the Avind, to enable me to get the Avater 

*This was said to have had a triple significance, Ad. Vance i. e. (1) To 
Vance, (2) Ad. Vance in honor of Mrs Vance whose name was Adelaide, 
(3) As the advance or pioneer ship. — Ed. 

336 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'6o. 

out by working the engines faster. He remonstrated by say- 
ing that "to attempt such a thing in a night like this would 
be certain destruction to the ship and all on board, but do the 
best you can until morning and when the worst comes, I may 
attempt it in daylight, but I feel confident we will have a 
change for the better by morning. The barometer has com- 
menced to rise and is going up rapidly. It is the first time 
it has made a movement in that direction for two days." 
Strange to say, by 8 o'clock the next morning, it was per- 
fectly calm, but a tremendous sea was rolling, which knocked 
us about considerably. This was the heaviest gale we ever 
experienced. On our arrival at Wilmington, we made some 
improvement in bilge and other pumps, which 'was actually 
necessary to make her seaworthy in anything like heavy 

The ship was in critical and dangerous positions on 
divers occasions. Once on the shoals off Fort Caswell 
where she remained for two or three days in range of the en- 
emy's guns, but was finally worked off and arrived in Wil- 
mington without any serious damage. Again, coming from 
St. Georges, Bermuda, we expected to make Bald Head light 
about 12 o'clock at night. However, a light was seen ahead 
about this time, but it proved to be Cape Lookout, and, when 
this was thoroughly understood and consultation held, Colo- 
nel Crossan, Captain Wiley, the pilot Kic Moss and Chief 
Engineer, as to what was best to be done, it was decided that 
we should try to get in at ISTew Inlet. 

Failing to get in there, she was to be run on the beach, as 
we did not have coal enough on board to go back to Bermuda. 
However, we left Cape Lookout about 2 o'clock on a beautiful 
October morning, all excitement and ship working at full 
speed close in to the land, determined to go in or on the beach. 
It being a little hazy along the line, was something in our 
favor. Did not see any of the fleet until we passed Wrights- 
ville and sighted Fort Fisher. As we approached the fort, 
the gun-boats made for us, firing shot that fell short. At this 
time we were approaching them very rapidly ; on account of 
a point of shoal, we had to turn to make the channel inlet. 
Bv this time their shot were goinc over us, and when Colonel 

The Steamer Ad-Vance. 337 

Lamb's Wliitwortli guns began their firing iipon the fleet, 
one large steamer, supposed to be the State of Georgia, came 
rapidly towards us, and when in dangerous proximity, was 
about to turn to bring her broadside guns upon the Ad-Vance, 
but a well-directed shot from a 10-inch Columbiad from the 
northeast salient of the fort crashed into her boAv, when she 
rapidly backed water and withdrew from the chase, enabling 
the Ad-Vance to get safely in, amid the shouts of the garrison 
and the cheers of the officers and crew and the waving of 
handkerchiefs by tliose on deck of the blockade runner. 
A number of officers came on board to congratulate us, and 
Captain Wiley and the Kev. Moses D. Hoge, mIio was on 
board bringing in a lot of testaments. Bibles and tracts for 
the soldiers, sent special thanks to Colonel Lamb and his gar- 
rison for their timely aid. This was considered one of the 
most daring and gallant feats performed by the blockade-run- 
ners during the war. 


We left Wilmington about 9 September, 1864, Captain 
Wiley still in command, Avith a full cargo, principally of cot- " 
ton, bound for Halifax, X. C, and anchored at New Inlet, 
near Fort Fisher, and in full sight of the Federal fleet of 
twenty-five or thirty vessels, who, of course, understcjud our 
designs and would be on the lookout for us that night. Al- 
though the night was not altogether favorable, we started as 
soon as the tide would permit. Of course, smoke, sparks and 
flames from the stack had to be kept down. This was very 
difficult to do, as our last shovelful of good coal was used 
shortly after crossing the bar and ill plain sight of some of the 
fleet. Those that could see us would throw rockets, indicat- 
ing the direction we were going. Then the dodging on our 
part and the fre(|uent change of the shi]r's course to keep from 
running into them. The excitement at this time was very 
great. Yet all was as quiet as the grave on board and every 
man was at his post and doing his duty faithfully. The 
rocket firing and shooting were very heavy, and nothing but 
good management on the part of our officers could have pulled 
us safely through the fleet that night. At sunrise there was 

338 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

nothing in sight, yet onr black smoke was giving ns away. 
Some of the fleet were following it, and about 8 o'clock a ves- 
sel was discovered chasing us and appeared to be gaining. 
Everj^thing possible was done to increase the speed of the 
Ad-Vancc, but the steaming qualities of the coal were against 
us. We were using Chatham, or Egypt coal, which was very 
inferior ; in fact nothing but slate or the croppings of the 
mine. Our good coal at Wilmington was taken for the Con- 
federate cruisers, which accounts for our capture. We were 
in hopes we could evade the pursuing steamer in the darkness 
of the night, but, in our present condition, she was too fast 
for us and was able to throw some shot over us some time be- 
fore sundown, which caused us to stop the ship and surrender. 
Erom the stopping of the ship to the boarding of the United 
States officers, some time elapsed, causing an accumulation of 
steam, which was blowing off very freely. The United States 
Engineer Corps, seeing the condition of affairs, asked me 
to have my men haul the fires and arrange to have the boilers 
supplied with water. I told him I had nothing more to do 
with the ship and considered him in charge. He then asked 
if my assistant engineers would go down and attend to this, 
I pointed them out to him, saying they would answer for 
themselves and, on their recusal, the Lieutenant ordered us on 
the bridge on top of tlie boilers, saying : ''If she does blow up 
I will send you all to eternity." Imagine us sitting on top 
of the boilers waiting for the explosion. However, we knew 
there was no immediate danger, if they could succeed in get- 
ting the jiumps to work, which they did in a short time, and 
we were relieved from our dangerous position and sent on 
board the Santiago de Cuba, which captured us. All were 
examined as to their nationality, many North Carolinians 
and A''ii*ginians on board claiming British protection. In 
fact, all on board except two, one from Connecticut and one 
from Virginia, claimed British protection and all could 
sound the letter "O" in "home" very broad. Mr. Carter, 
our purser, was the only one on board that was sworn, and 
this was on account of the clothing he wore, it being a suit of 
ISTorth Carolina home-spun. The Captain looked at him 
from head to foot and vice versa, saving that he was the first 

The Steamer Ad-Vance. 339 

Englishman he ever saw with a suit of clothes of that kind. 

On our way to Xorfolk, with Cape Henry in sight, Sunday 
morning we were ordered on deck for prayer (Episcopal ser- 
vice). During the service our Captain Wiley called my at- 
tention to the Ca])tain of the Santiago de Cuba, saying the 
prayers were doing him no good, from the fact that he was 
turning around every minnte to see if the valuable prize, the 
Ad-Vance, was coming, and when satisfied that all things 
were well with her, would turn around again, giving a little 
more attention to the sermon for a few minutes. We arrived 
in Xorfolk Sunday afternoon and had the freedom of the city, 
that is inside the Provost Marshal's limits. 

We, however, wanted to go ''ome," and had to appeal to the 
British Consul at Xorfolk. We had some trouble at first, but 
the Consul finally took our case to heart and wrote a letter to 
Lord Lyons, stating the way her Britannic Majesty's subjects 
were treated. This did the work for us and we were permit- 
ted to find our way "ome" as best we could, without interrup- 

This was the last I saw of the Ad-Vance, but I have been 
told by Colonel Lamb that she was turned into a gun-boat, 
The Frolic, and was in the second bombardment at Fort 
Fisher, and has been seen several times at Wilmington since 
the war. 

Many of the North Carolinians made their way from Nor- 
folk to Llalifax, N. S., thence to Nassau, where I was ap- 
pointed Chief Engineer of the steamer Col. Lamh, with Cap- 
tain Thomas Lockwood in command. We were then ready to 
run the blockade again to Wilmington, but were informed by 
an incoming steamer that Forts Fisher and Caswell had been 
taken. This left no port open for us but Galveston. We 
then left Nassau for Havana, took on supplies and started for 
Galveston ; on arriving oft' the bar, it was thought too risky 
to go in as the wind had been blowing unfavorably for several 
days, which caused low water in the harbor which would 
increase the risk of the steamer. On consultation with pilots 
it was decided not to take the risk ; we then returned to Ha- 
vana, all ports being now effectively closed, and after making 
some repairs to the machinery, we were ordered to Halifax, 

340 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

N. S., toTiching at jSTassau and Bermuda, arriving at Halifax 
about 10 April, 1865. 

While lying in the harbor, Captain Lockwood gave a dina- 
tion to the iVgents and Confederate friends on Saturday, 15 
April, and at sun rise the ship was decorated with flags from 
stem to stern and the steamer Col. Lamb made a very hand- 
some appearance, but they were not allowed to remain there 
long. About 9 :00 or 10 :00 a. m., a British boat was seen 
coming towards us and pulled alongside. The officer in 
charge inquired for the Captain. When told he was ashore, 
he then ordered the flags to be taken down, as it was very un- 
becoming to be rejoicing over the death of the President of 
the United States in British waters. When told that they 
were displayed for another purpose, it made no difference. 
They had to come down at once. This was news to us and 
created quite a sensation in the city and the newspapers were 
full of it for several days on both sides, but is was claimed 
that the flags should have been allowed to remain, as the news 
of President Lincoln's death did not reach Halifax until 
about 9 :00 o'clock that morning, and the flags were up at sun- 

The surrender having taken place while we were here, it 
was decided to take the ship to Liverpool. We left here 
about 5 ]\Iay and had a storiuy passage all the way — in fact 
a gale of wind carrying away the foremast a few feet above 
deck, which came near swamping us; then came the remorse 
of conscience with those of us that belonged on this side of the 
Atlantic for not going home immediately after the surrender 
instead of taking this trip. However, we arrived in Liver- 
pool about 1 June. We remained there a few days and then 
started for home in the.Cunard steamer China. This being 
an ocean-going steamer, we felt much safer than iij the Ad- 
Yance or Col. Lamb. We had a pleasant return trip, arriving 
in Halifax, iST. S., on 4 July, 1S65, from there to Charlotte, 
jST. C, where my family resided during the last two years of 
the war. I found all well and was glad to be home with my 
famih" once more. 

Jas. Maglenn-, 

Hamlet, N. C, 

10 September, 1901. 



tVlden foundations^ 


1. Tliriinas M. Crossen, Captain, Steamer " Ail-Vance."' 
■■i Joliri White, Commissioner to Enjclaiul. 
3. James JIaslenn. Chief Engineer. 


By rev. MOSES D. HOGE, D. D. 

Bermuda, Wednesday, October 8, 1863. — x\t 12 o'clock 
went on board the Ad-Vance (Lord Clyde). My fellow pas- 
sengers are Rev. Mr. Terr}^, Mrs. Pender, Messrs. Bur- 
ton, Walker and Reguanlt. Got oft" at 10 o'clock; beauti- 
ful view of Bermuda as we rapidly sped along. The Clyde 
a fine and fast vessel. Officers, Colonel Crossen, Captain 

Wylie (the English Captain) ; First Officer, — . — . ; 

Surgeon, Dr. Swan ; Purser, Mr. Flanner ; Signal Officer, 
Mr. Smith. The Colonel is a noble man ; Wylie a warm- 
hearted Scotchman, though he looks English ever}- inch, big, 
burly and red faced, full of enthusiasm^full of poetry. 
Flnnner has good points. I have had some pleasant inter- 
course with young Smith, who became pious at Hampden- 
Sidney. We have taken no state rooms on the Clyde, al- 
though there are a great number of unoccupied ones, but our 
little company of passengers all stay in the saloon at night. 
The fare is rather rough, but that is nothing when we have a 
good shi]) homeward 1)ound. 

We have been in much trouble on the ship to-day. The 
coal, which was thought to be very good (Welsh coal, Cardiff) 
is found to be of very bad quality. This morning we could 
not get up steam as nsnal. The serious question is discussed 
whether we had better not return to Bermuda. After run- 
ning fourteen knots we droj^ped down to five. It is thought 
to be useless to go on toward the blockaders to ensure a cap- 
ture. We put tlie vessel about and sailed a while due east, 
but after a little while the draft increased and the paddles 
made their former revolutions from twenty to twenty-three 
per minute. 

342 North Carolina Troops, l861-'65. 

The difficulty was there was a mixture of something like 
kelp and sand, which melted on the hars of the grates and 
choked tlie draft, making a deposit they called slag. It waa 
terribly hard on the firemen to keep them clear. 

The discipline of this ship is very bad. The sailors came 
and demanded their bounty the first day, and the second, the 
firemen came up on the quarter deck, a thing quite contrary 
to ship etiquette, and made the same demand. They ought 
to have been paid at once according to custom, but while it 
was wrong to withhold the money, it was not right for them to 
demand it as they did. 

October 9, 1863. — I am now on board the Ad-Vance, (Lord 
Clyde), about 100 miles from the North Carolina coast. It 
is 4 o'clock, p. m., and I am sitting on the bottom step of the 
paddle box, from which I can look down directly into the 
water and see how beautifully it divides before the bow of 
the steamer, darting through at a noble speed. This is one 
of the most pleasant days as to temperature I ever felt, clear, 
coolish, without being cool and something life-giving in the 

It is a day for thought, a time for review and anticipation. 
To-night we will know our fate, whether it is to be the bot- 
tom of the sea, a northern prison, or Richmond. I am not 
apprehensive, but I know the risks. We have heard nothing 
from Wibnington. No steamers came out while we were in 
Bermuda, though several were expected. We may be run- 
ning into a tra]^ — as we know not what progress the Federals 
may have made in the way of excluding blockade-runners. 
We may be damaged by the fire of the fleet, even if w^e succeed 
in running the gauntlet and although I do not repent coming, 
and notwithstanding the uncertainty, I have no desire to turn 
back, yet I know we may be disappointed just on the happy 
eve of getting home and indeed may never reach it at all. I 
have spent much time this morning in prayer, in solemn con- 
secration of myself to God, and in supplication for a spirit of 
submission to His will. I try to commit myself and my dear 
family and church to His holy keeping. 

We have just been mustered on deck and had our places in 
the boats assigned to us, in case we have to abandon the 

Running the Blockade on the "Ad-Vance." 343 

steamer to-night. I go with Colonel Crossen and Mrs. 
Pender, and the rest of our boat's crew are firemen and sail- 
ors. Terry, Burton, "Walker and Regnault go in the other 
life-boats, the rest of the crew in the two aft boats. This 
looks like business. It is the purpose to destroy the Ad- 
Vance and take to the boats if we are intercepted. I should 
dread capture on my dear wife's account. It would almost 
break her heart, after our long separation and the sorrow 
she has borne. (The death of their oldest son while he was 
in England.— M. R. G.) 

But I believe the good Providence which brought me out 
and gave me such success abroad, will open a door for my safe 
return to my home and work again. 

Wilmington, ]^. C, October 12, 18G3. — I, now on shore, 
can complete my notes of this voyage. It had a memorable 
termination. In the record of the events of the 9th, I stated 
I was making my last entry (a prayer I did not copy, as it 
was too personal. — M. P. G.) expecting to get ashore that 
night. We were disappointed, however. Although the Cap- 
tain and Colonel made an observation at 12 M., they failed to 
detect the fact that the current of the Gulf Stream had swept 
us far to the north of our course. About 9 o'clock at night 
we saw a light and the dim outline of the land. At first it 
was thought to be the signal light near Port Fisher, and Mr. 
Smith wanted to make signals, but after long inspection, dis- 
covered that it was a light-house. We then changed our 
course southward and ran along shore, all night in doubt as to 
where we were. Colonel C. once thought we might be south 
of the entrance to Wilmington and running toward Charles- 
ton. This show^s how completely at sea we were ! Wben it 
grew light enough to see the coast more plainly, our officers 
recognized certain localities on Masonboro Sound, the salt 
works, etc., and we ascertained we had just made the land 
north of Cape Lookout, 80 miles from the point Ave expected to 
strike. Colonel Crossen prepared to run up near enough to 
see which blockaders were within view and I supposed he 
would then stand out to sea and lie off until night and then 
run in at his leisure, but to my astonishment, although it was 
about 8 o'clock in the morning, the sun shining brilliantly 

344 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

and the sea level as a floor and three blockaders guarding the 
entrance, he steamed straight on toward Fort Fisher. The 
blockaders seemed confused for a few moments by the audac- 
ity of the movement, but presently they came about and all 
three struck for the shore, intending to cut us off. They 
came on very speedily, but finding that we were running so 
swiftly they opened upon us with shrapnel, shell and solid 

It was a scene of intense excitement. We could see peo- 
ple on the shore, watching the result. We doubted not with 
utmost interest- — the shells were plougliing up the water and 
tearing up the sand on the shore, bursting over and around 
us, and yet not one struck us. It was almost a miracle. Two 
or three of their shells struck the sand just at the edge of the 
water and directly opposite to us and the wonder was how the 
balls could get there w^ithout passing through us. Colonel C. 
certainly made a hazardous experiment. Had the mist near 
the coast not veiled us somewhat from the view of the enemy 
as we a^^proached, and had he seen us in time to make chase 
ten minutes sooner, he would have headed us off and driven 
us ashore, or had one of his shot penetrated our boilers, we 
would have been blown to fragments. Had we been compelled 
to talce to our boats, we would have still been in great danger, 
for we Avonld have been under fire perhaps an hour, when the 
smooth sea made it as easy to fire accurately from the deck as 
from the walls of a fort. 

As it was, by the favor of a good Providence, we escaped 
unharmed and very soon ran by Fort Fisher, when the guns 
of that fort opened on the blockaders and a pretty little fight 
took place bctAveen them, the vessels quickly withdrawing, 
however, one of them liaving been struck. 

As we passed the fort our crew cheered heartily, we ran up 
our Confederate flag. 

In a moment more we struck the rip and stuck fast. 

Moses D. Hoge. 


12 Octobr 1 ()3. 





By an officer THEREOF. 

The agents of the Xavy Department who are engaged in 
the compilation of the official records of the Union and Con- 
federate Navies in the late Avar, have recently brought to 
light, from Southern sources, a mass of hitherto unpublished 
information of curious interest and value, relative to the oper- 
ations of the Confederate privateer Shenandoah. In the de- 
structiveness to Union property the work of the Shenandoah 
was second only to that of the Alabama, and the former en- 
joyed the peculiar distinction of having far outstripped the 
records of all other cruisers in the length of her voyage and 
the fact that she never met with the slightest opposition from 
Union arms in her path of destruction, and continued her 
depredations many months after the conclusion of the war. 

It is worthy of remark that the Xavy Department at Wash- 
ington was in possession of information relative to her outfit 
and plans early in the summer of 1864, but active search was 
not instituted until January, 1865, and though the United 
States ships Santee, Wachusett, Iroquois, ^yyoming and the 
European and Pacific squadrons at large were successively 
ordered in pursuit of her, none -of them ever succeeded in 
coming up with her, much less in engaging her in combat. In 
August, 1865, her commander gained conclusive informa- 
tion that the war had gone against the South, and he leis- 
urely and uninterruptedly made his way to England, where 
he gave himself and his ship into the hands of the British 

The Shenandoali was a full-rigged ship of 1,000 tons and 
250 horse-power, with a battery of four 8-inch guns — two 
32-pounders and two 12-pounders. She was originally the 
British ship Sea King, built in 1863 for the East Indian 
trade. On her return voyage she was purchased by Confeder- 
ate agents in Europe and fitted out as a cruiser in the Confed- 

346 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

erate service, primarily to disperse and destroy the New Eng- 
land whaling fleet in the northern seas. She had been de- 
signed as a transport for troops, had spaeions decks and large 
air ports, and was well suited for conversion into a cruiser. 
A fast sailer under canvas, her steam power was more thao 
auxiliary, as she could exceed eleven knots without pressing. 
Provided with fifteen months' stores, she sailed from London 
8 October, 1804, in command of her English master, Captain 
Corbett, for ]\[adeira. Ten days later she was delivered over 
to her new commander, Lieutenant James I. Waddell, who 
had taken passage from Liverpool with the officers and men 
detailed for his command. Among the latter were some 
picked men from the famous Alabama, which had been sunk 
by the Kearsage a few months before. The Shenandoah 
was commissioned 19 October and that day cleared for Ma- 

The journal of Commander Waddell is now in the posses- 
sion of the Navy Department, and is a most interesting rec- 
ord of the career of the Shenandoah. 

On 30 October the cry of ''Sail ho !" rang out from the 
Shenandoah' s masthead. Immediately she bore down upon 
the distant vessel, an American bark, the Alma, of a seaport 
in ]\[aine, bound for Buenos Ayres with railroad iron. She 
was on her flrst voyage, thoroughly equipped, nicely coppered 
and beautifully clean^ — a tempting prize. Defense on her 
part was out of the question, and the Confederates boarded 
and scuttled her, after appropriating such of her furnishings 
as they could make use of and taking the crew prisoners, six 
of whom afterwards volunteered their service as active men 
on the Shenandoah. The Alma was valued at $95,000. 

On 15 November the Shenandoah crossed the equator. Her 
course thence lay south along the coast of Brazil. Nothing 
of interest occurred after crossing the line except the inter- 
change of courtesies with neutral vessels until 4 December, 
when the American whaleship Editards, out of New Bedford 
three months, Avas sighted and captured near the Island of 
Tristan. The Edwards had taken a whale and was "cutting 
out" when captured, her crew being so occupied with the fish 
that the Shenandoah had come within easy range of her unob- 

The Shenandoah. 347 

served. The Edwards' outfit was of excellent quality, and 
the Confederates lay by two days supplying their steamer 
with necessaries. The whaleship was then burned, and Wad- 
dell landed for a day at Tristan and made arrangements with 
the native governor to receive the Edwards' crew, most of 
whom were Sandwich Islanders. 

Soon after the departure from Tristan it was found that a 
serious accident had happened to the propeller shaft of the 
Shenandoah, and it became necessary to seek some considera- 
ble port for the repairs. Capetown was nearest, but Com- 
mander Waddell preferred making Melbourne, if possible, 
the course thither lying nearer the more frequented tracks of 
the United States vessels. The voyage was marked by the 
capture of several merchantmen. 

The character of the Shenandoah was known at Melbourne 
and she was cheered and surrounded by the steamers in the 
haven. The next day the work of repairing the ship was be- 
gun and during the delay several of the crew embraced the 
opportunity to desert, all of them being men who had joined 
the Shenandoah from captured ships. The attempt of Wad- 
dell to pursue and bring back these men was obstructed by the 
United States consul, as well as by the Australian authorities. 
The Shenandoah, in a fortified British port, was in no posi- 
tion to resist these acts, and on 18 February, the repairs and 
coaling having been completed, the port was cleared. 

The delay of the steamer at Melbourne had operated 
against success for the Shenandoah in the South Pacific. The 
whaling fleets of that ocean had received warning of the pres- 
ence of the privateer and had departed for sheltering ports 
or the Arctic ocean. Learning from a passing steamer that 
some United States whaling vessels Avere to be found in a 
harbor of the Caroline Islands, Waddell directed his course 
thither, reaching the Islands early in April. 

An English pilot, who had been living therefor some years, 
volunteered his services to the Confederates and brought the 
steamer to anchor in sight of four vessels flying the American 
flag. The flag of the Slicnayidoah was not yet displayed. 
After anchorage was secured four armed boats were dis- 
patched with orders to capture the vessels and bring their of- 

348 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

ficers, ships' papers, log books, instruments for navigation 
and whaling charts to the She7iandoah. After the boats left 
the steamer the Confederate flag was hoisted and a gun fired. 
This signal announcing the character of the warship brought 
doAvn the American flags and the seizure was immediately 
made. Waddell remained some days in this harbor, where 
he made friends with the native ''king," a savage. 

The course of the Shenandoah was thence for many days 
toward the north, and beset with violent storms. Finally 
the snow-covered Kurile Islands were sighted, and 31 May the 
Sea of Okhotsk was entered, under the coast of Kamschatka. 
A few days later the w^haling bark Abigail, of JSTew Bedford, 
was overtaken, captured, and burned. The Shenandoah con- 
tinued as far north as the mouth of Chijinsk Bay, but being 
forced away by the ice she stole along the coast of Siberia on 
her still Jiuiit amid frequent storms and great danger from 
floating ice. On 14- June no ships having been sighted, Wad- 
dell changed his course toward the Aleutian Islands, entered 
Behring Sea on the next day and almost immediately fell in 
with a couple of I^ew Bedford whalers. One of them, the 
William Thompson, was the largest out of iSTew England, and 
valued at $60,000. These ships were burned. 

The following day five vessels were sighted near an ice 
floe. The Confederates hoisted tlie American flag, bore 
down upon them, and ordered the nearest, the Milo, of New 
Bedford, to produce her ship's papers. Her captain com- 
plied, but was enraged to find himself thus entrapped. He 
declared the war was over. Waddell demanded documentary 
evidence, which the captain could not produce. His vessel 
was seized and the Shenandoah started after the companion 
ships with the usual result. For several days following the 
She7iandoalt had things all her own way and the prizes were 
frequent and valuable. She struck fleet after fleet of whal- 
ing ships, only to consign them and their contents to the 
flames. On 20 -June, alone, five ships, valued collectively at 
$160,000, were destroyed and a day or two later she reached 
the climax of her career, burning within eleven hours eleven 
ships, worth in the aggregate nearly $500,000. 

The Slu'nandonh was now overcrowded with prisoners, 

The Shenandoah, 349 

most of whom Avere afterwards transferred to passing ships. 
Having cruised aronnd daringly for a week or two longer, 
and sighting no more ships, slie turned her prow southward 
again. Her depredations w^ere at an end, for early in August 
she spoke the English bark Barracouta, from San Francisco 
to Liverpool, and from her received Xew York papers which 
gave conclusive evidence of the end of the war between the 
States and imparted to Commander Waddell the more per- 
sonally interesting information that the United States gov- 
ernment had sent six gun-boats on his track to the Arctic re- 
gions to ''catch the pirates and hang them on sight." 

Upon receipt of the news Commander Waddell put sixty 
men to work painting a 16-foot belt of white around the ves- 
sel, stowed the guns below the deck, trimmed her as a mer- 
chantmen and made Liverpool. On the trip he trusted 
the ship within range of the half dozen g-un-boats that were 
sent to capture the privateer. In answer to their salutes he 
dipped the English flag and steamed away. 

On 5 jSTovember, 1865, the Shenandoah entered St. George's 
channel, having sailed 22,000 miles without seeing land. On 
6 November she steamed up the Mersey, and the Confederate 
flag having been hauled down Waddell sent a communication 
to the English Minister of Foreign Affairs, Earl Russell, 
placing the ship at the disposal of the British Government. 
Through Earl Russell the vessel was transferred to the juris- 
diction of the American Minister, Charles Francis Adams. 
The vessel was sold to the Prince of Zanzibar for use as a 
pleasure craft. On the trip home the famous privateer, 
which had withstood the buffetings of a cruise of 58,000 
statute miles, was caught in a cyclone and vessel, prince and 
crew were lost. 

Such is the record of the Shenandoah. She was actually 
cruising for the Union property but eight months, and during 
that time she captured and destroyed vessels to the value of 
more than $1,200,000, and the Union had never been able 
to direct a blow against her. She had visited every ocean 
except the Antarctic, covering a distance of 58,000 statute 
miles. The last gun in defense of the South was fired in 
the Arctic ocean from her deck on 22 June, 1865, 

350 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

Captain James Iredell Waddell was a perfect specimen of 
physical manhood, standing 6 feet 1 inch, and weighing 210 

Note. — In Vol. 3. Off. Bee. Union A Confed. Navies at p. 785 is the log 
of the Shenandoah from which it appears (p. 793) that in her eight 
months cruise she captured 38 vessels valued at |1, 173,223. From p. 
793 to 836 is an admirable account of the cruise of the vessel by her 
commander, at the conclusion of which Captain Waddell says : 

"The Shenandoah was actually cruising but eight months after the 
enemy's property, during which time she made thirty-eiglit captures, 
an average of a fraction over four per month. 

She released six on bond and destroyed thirty-two. 

She visited every ocean except the Antartic Ocean. 

She was the only vessel which carried the flag around the world, and 
she carried it six months after the over-throw of the South. 

She was surrendered to the British nation 6 November, 1865. 

The last gun in defence of the South was fired from her deck 33 June, 
in the Arctic Ocean. 

She ran a distance of 58,000 statue miles and met with no serious injury 
during a cruise of thirteen months. 

Her anchors were on her bows for eight months 

She never lost a chase, and was second only to the celebrated Alabama. 

I claim for her officers and men a triumph over their enemies and over 
every obstacle, and for myself I claim having done my duty." 

If space permitted the whole of this article merits reproduction here. 







Captured nine miles nortli of Fort Fisher by Admiral Lee, and now 

a trophy in Washington, D. C, Navy Yard. 


By colonel WILLIAM LAMB, Tnri;TY--ix i h Regiment N. C. T. 

Shortly after taJving command of Fort Fisher I recovered 
from the wreck of a blockade runner, the British Steamship 
Modern Greece, four 12 pounder WhitA\orth rifle guns, 
with a range of five miles. With these guns, we made the 
U. S. Blockading fleet remove their anchorage from two 
and a half miles to five miles from the fore. So many ves- 
sels were saved with these guns that they soon had a reputa- 
tion throughout the South, and three of them were transfer- 
red to other commands, two going to Virginia. 

In August, 1863, the British Steamship Hehe with a 
most valuable cargo, while trying to enter Xew Inlet, was 
driven ashore by the enemy and partially destroyed. A de- 
tachment of Cai)tain Munn's Company sent to her relief, 
rescued the Captain and Crew and captured on her. Ensign 
W. W. Crowninshield, Master's Mate John Paige, Third As- 
sistant Engineer Wm. Mason, five petty ofiicers, five seamen 
and one ordinary seaman, from the U. S. S. Niphon. Munn's 
detachment remained ^^dth a Whitworth rifie gun and a 
Faucett and Preston rifle piece, behind an improvised sand 
battery, to guard the wreck while its cargo was being re- 

■Sunday morning 23 August, the steam frigate Minnesoia, 
the flagship of the Xorth Atlantic Blockading Squadron, came 
up abreast of the wreck, wdthin 600 yards, while the United 
States Steamship James Adger was sent into within 300 
yards, to see if the Hebe could be hauled off and the United 
States Steamship Nipli07i was ordered along the beach to 
cut off any retreat. The heroic detachment instead of re- 
treating as they should have done, with their guns, as soon 
as they saw this powerful steamship approaching, carrying- 
more guns and ammunition than were in Fort Fisher, de- 
fiantly stood their ground and fired on the boat sent by the 

352 North Carolina Troops, 18G1-'65. 

James Adger with a tow line towards the Hehe, driving 
her back, wounding one of the crew. The Minnesota and 
James Adger then opened a frightful lire on the detach- 
ment and gains tearing up the beach, killing private Holland 
and wounding five others. The detachment barely escaped 
cajjture. They carried oil' their dead and Vv'ounded comrades 
but were obliged to leave their guns. The wreck was over 
seven miles from Fort Tisher, on the narrow and low beach 
between Masonboro Sound and the Ocean, and it was won- 
derful that any escaped alive. The enemy after landing 
carried off the two guns."" 

The j\Jin7icsota fired 173 shot and shell consuming 1,977 
pounds of cannon powder.. The James Adger fired 1G3 
shot and shell using U5S pounds of powder, or a total of 336 
shell and shot and more than a ton of cannon powder, to 
drive a detachment of tar heels from two small field pieces. 
The Niplion fired 172 shot and shell at the detachment as 
it retreated, and claimed to have wyunded many, but did 
not strike one. 

General W. H. C. "Whiting in reporting this fight to the 
Secretary of War, Eichmond, 24 August, 1863, says: "I 
have met with a serious and heavy loss in that Whitworth, 
a gun that in the hands of the indefatigable Lamb, has saved 
dozens of vessels, and millions of money to the Confederate 
States. I beg that a couple of the Whitworth guns originally 
saved by him from the Modern Greece may be sent here 
at once. Their long range makes them more suitable for a 
seaboard position. Could I get them with horses we could 
save many a vessel that will now be lost to us." 

William Lamb. 

Norfolk, Va., 

23 August, 1901. 

*8ee ])icture in this Vol. of the captured "Whitworth Eifle gun, now at 
Washington, D. C. Navy Yard. 





1. John Newland Maffltt, Captain of Confederate Blockade-runners " Lilian," 

•"Florie," and 'Owl." 

2. George C. McDougal. Chief Engineer, 60 voyages through the blockade. 

3. C. C. Morse, Cape Fear Pilot, North Carolina Steamer " Ad-Vance." 

4. Jameis Sprunt, Purser, Confederate Blockade-runners " Lilian " and " Susan 


5. Fred W. Gregory, Confederate States Signal Officer, Steamer " Susan Bieme." 


By JAMES SPRUNT, Fokmek riK.sER Steamer Lilian. 

The following serial, undertaken at the request of Hon. 
Walter Clark, is a compilation of the narrative of some of 
those who partieipaled in a branch of the Confederate ser- 
vice, which, although not officially recognized, was neverthe- 
less effective in sustaining the war long after the resources 
of the South had been exhausted. 


There are no records from which computation might be 
made of the amount and value of goods, arms, supplies and 
stores brought into tlie Confederate States during the four 
years of blockade, but the Hon. Zebulon B. Vance, who 
was Governor of North Carolina during several years of the 
war, has put on record the share, in part, of our State in 
blockade-running, from ^\hicli a general idea of the amount 
of values may be obtained. 

In an address before the Association of the Maryland Line, 
delivered in Baltimore 2.3 February, 1885, he said: 

"By the general industry and thrift of our ])cople and by 
the use of a number of blockade-running steamers, carrying 
out cotton and bringing in supplies from Euro]ie, I had col- 
lected and distributed from time to time, as near as can be 
gathered from the records of the Quartermaster's Depart- 
ment, the followung stores : Large quantities of machinery 
supplies; 60,000 pairs of hand cflrds; 10,000 grain scythes; 
200 barrels of blue stone for wheat growers ; leather and shoes 
to 2.50,000 pairs; 50,000 blankets; grey wool cloth for 
at least 250,000 suits of uniforms; 12,000 overcoats ready- 
made; 2,000 best Enfield rijfles, with 100 rounds of fixed 
ammunition; 100,000 pounds of bacon; 500 sacks of coffee 
for hospital use ; $50,000 worth of medicines at gold prices, 
large quantities of lubricating oils, besides minor supplies of 
■ 23 

354 North Carolina Troops, 1 861-65. 

various kinds for the charitable institutions of the State. Not 
only ^\'as the supply of shoes, blankets and clothing more than 
sufficient for the supply of the North Carolina troops, but 
large quantities were turned over to the Confederate Gov- 
ernment for the troops of other States. In the winter suc- 
ceeding the l)attlo of Chickamauga, I sent to General Long- 
street's Corps 14,000 suits of clothing complete. At the sur- 
render of General Johnston, the State had on hand ready- 
made and in cloth 92,000 suits of uniforms, with great stores 
of blanJ^ets, leather, etc. To make good the warrant on which 
these ])iirchases had been made abroad, the State purchased 
and had on hand in trust for the holders 11,000 bales of cot- 
ton and 100,000 Ijarrels of rosin. The cotton was partly de- 
stroyed before the w^ar closed, and the remainder, amounting 
to several thousand bales, was captured, after peace was de- 
clared, by certain officers of the Federal army." 

President Davis, in a message to Congress, said that the 
number of vessels arriving at only two ports — Charleston and 
Wilmington, from 1 K(wember to 6 December, 1864, had 
been 43, and that only a very small portion of those outward- 
bound had been captured; that out of 11,796 bales of cotton 
shipped since 1 July, 1864, but 1,272 bales had been lost. 
And the special report of the Secretary of the Treasury in re- 
lation to tlie same ]uatter stated that there had been imported 
at the ports of Wihnington and Charleston since 26 October, 

1864, 8,632,000 pounds of meat; 1,507,000 pounds of lead; 
1,933,000 pounds of saltpetre; 546,000 pairs of shoes; 316,- 
000 pairs of blankets; 520,000- pounds of coffee; 69,000 
rifles ; 97 packages of revolvers ; 2,639 j^ackages of medicines ; 
43 cannon ; with a very large quantity of other articles. In 
addition to these articles, many valuable stores and supplies 
had been brought in by way of the Northern lines, by way of 
Florida, through the port of Galveston, and through Mexico 
across the Eio Grande. From 1 March, 1864, to 1 January, 

1865, the value of the shipments of cotton on Confederate 
Government account was shown by the Secretary's report to 
have been $5,296,000 in specie, of which $1,500,000 had been 
.shipped out betv/een 1 July and 1 December, 1864. 

A list of vessels which were runniuo- the blockade from 

Blockade Running. 355 

Kassaii and otlier ports in the period intervening between 
November, 1861, and March 186-1 (Scharf's C. S. Navy, 
488), showed tliat 84 ste.nners vrere engaged; of these 37 
were captured by the enemy, 12 were totally lost, 11 were 
lost and the cargoes partially saved, and one foundered at sea. 
They made 363 trips to Nassau and 65 to other ports. Among 
the highest number of runs made were those of the R. E. 
Lee, which ran 21 times; the Faiiny, which ran 18 times; 
the Margaret and Jessie, which performed the same feat. 
Out of 425 runs from Nassau alone (including schooners) 
only 62, about one in seven, were unsuccessful. As freights 
were enormous, ranging from $300 to $1,000 per ton, some 
idea may be formed of the profits of a business in which a 
party could afford to lose a vessel after two successful trips. 
In ten months of 1863, from January to October, 90 vessels 
ran into Wilmington. During August one ran in every other 
day. On 11 July, four, and five on 19 October. 

With the termination of blockade running, the commercial 
importance of Mataraoras, Nassau, Bermuda, and other West 
India ports departed. On 11 ]\[arch, 1865, there were lying 
in Nassau 35 British l)lockade-runners, which were valued 
at $15,000,000 in greenbacks, and there were none to do them 
reverence. Their occupation Avas gone, their profits at an 
,end. and some other service must be sought to give them em- 

A description of Nassau at the time of which I write will 
be both interesting and instructive. Says Capt. Wilkinson: 
''It was a busy place during the M'ar, the chief depot of sup- 
plies for the Confederacy, and the port to which most of the 
cotton was shipped. Its proximity to the ports of Charleston 
and Wilmington gave it superior advantages, whilst it was 
easily accessible to the swift, light-draft blockade-runners, all 
of which carried Bahama bank pilots, who knew every chan- 
nel. The United States cruisers, having no bank pilots, and 
drawing more water, were compelled to keep the open sea. 
Occasionally one of the latter would heave to outside the har- 
bor and send in a boat to communicate Avith the American 
Oonsul, but their usual cruising ground was off Abaco light. 
Nassau is situated upon the island of New Providence, one of 

356 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

the Bahamas, and it is the chief town and capital of the 
group. All of the islands are snrrounded by coral reefs and 
shoals, through which are channels, more or less intricate. 
The distance from Charleston to jS'assan is about 500 miles, 
and from Wihuington about 550. Practically they were 
equi-distant ; for blockade-runners bound for either port in 
order to evade the cruisers lying in wait off Abaco, were com- 
pelled to give that headland a wide berth by keeping well to 
the eastward. The wharves of Nassau were piled high with 
cotton during the war, and huge warehouses were stowed full 
with supplies for the Confederacy. At times the harbor 
was crowded with lead-colored, short-masted, rakish looking 
steamers; the streets, alive with the bustle and activity of the 
day, swarmed with drunken revelers at night. Almost every 
nationality on earth was represented there, the high wages 
ashore and afloat tempting adventurers of the baser sort, and 
the prospects of enormous profits offering equally strong in- 
ducements to capitalists of a speculative turn. Monthly 
wages of a sailor on board a blockade-runner were $100 in 
gold and $50 bounty at the end of a successful trip and this 
under favoral)le circumstances, would be accomplished in 
seven days. 

"The captains and pilots sometimes received as much as 
$5,000 and perquisites. On board the goveimment steamers 
the crew, which was shipped abi'oad and under the articles 
regulating the "merchant marine," received the same wages 
as were paid on board the other blockade-runners, but the cap- 
tains and subordinate officers of the government steamers 
who belonged to the Confederate States Navy, and the pilots 
who were detailed from the army for this service, received 
their pay in gold. There is a singular fact connected with 
the blockade-running vessels which speaks well for the Con- 
federate States naval officers. Though many commanded a 
large number of these vessels, yet down to 16 August, 1864, 
and perhaps later, only one blockade-running; vessel was lost." 

The Cape Fear pilots have long maintained a standard of 
excellence in their profession" most creditable to them as a class 
and as individuals. The story of their wonderful skill and 
bravery at the time of the Federal blockade has never been 







Blockade Running. 357 

written, for the survivors are modest men, and time has ob- 
literated from their memories many incidents of this extra- 
ordinary epoch. Amidst impenetrable darkness, without 
lightship or beacon, the narrow and closely watched inlet was 
felt for with a deep sea lead, as a blind man feels his way 
along a familiar path, and even when the enemy's fire was 
raking the wheel-house the faithful pilot, with steady hand 
and iron nerve, safely steered the little fugitive of the sea to 
her desired haven. It might be said of him as of the ISTan- 
tucket skipper, that he could get his bearings on the darkest 
night by a taste of the lead. 

These are the naiues of some of the noted blockade-runners 
and their pilots, well known in Smithville thirty odd years 

Steamer Corntibia, afterwards called The Lady Davis, C. 
C. Morse; steamer Giraffe, afterwards known as the R. E. 
Lee, Archibald Guthrie; steamer Fannie, Henry Howard; 
steamer TJansa, J. I^. Burruss ; steamer City of Petersburg, 
Joseph Bensel; steamer Old Dominion, Richard Dosher; 
steamer Alice, Joseph Springs; steamer Margaret and Jes- 
sie, Chas. W. Craig ; steamer Hebe, George W. Burruss ; 
steamer Ad-Va)ice, C. C. Morse; steamer Pet, T. W. Craig; 
steamer Atalanta, Thos. M. Thompson; steamer Eugenia, T. 
W. Newton ; steamer Ella and Annie, J. M. Adkins ; steamer 
Banshee, Thomas Bui-russ; steamer Venus, R. Sellars; 
steamer Don, William St. George ; steamer Lynx, J. W. 
Craig; steamer Ijet Her Be, T. J. Burruss; steamer Little 
Hattie, R. S. Grissom ; steamer Lilian, Thomas Grissom ; 
steamer North Heath, Julius Dosher; steamer Let Ller Rip, 
E. T. Burruss ; steamer Beauregard, J. W. Potter ; steamer 
Ou'l, T. B. Garrason; steamer Agnes Fry, Thomas Dyer; 
steamer Kate, C. C Morse; steamer Sirene, John Hill; 
steamer Calypso, C. G. Smith ; steamer Ella, John Savage ; 
steamer Condor, Thomas Brinkman; steamer Coquette, E. 
T. Daniels ; steamer Ilary Celeste, J. W. Anderson. Many 
other steamers might be named, among them the Britannica, 
Emma, Dee. Antonica, Victory, Granite City, Stonewall 
Jackson, Flora, LLtvelock, Hero, Eagle, Douvo, Thistle, Sco- 
tia, Gertnide, Charleston, Colonel Lamb, Dolphin, and 

358 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

Dream, whose pilots' names may be among those already re- 
called. These are noted here from memory, for there is no 
record extant. All of these men were exposed to constant 
danger, and one of them, J. W. Anderson of the Mary Celeste, 
died a hero's death. Shortly after leaving the port of Nas- 
sau on his last voyage, he was stricken down by yellow fever. 
The cajDtain at once proposed to put the ship about and return 
to the Bahamas, but his brave pilot said: "No, you may 
proceed, I w^ill do my best to get you into port, even if it 
costs me my life." On the second day he was delirious, but 
as the little ship approached our dangerous coast he regained 
consciousness, and spoke of his home and the loved ones await- 
ing his coming at Smithville. When darkness drew on, his 
fever increased and his condition seemed hopeless, but with 
the heart of a lion he detei'mined to take his post on the 
bridge, and when soundings were reached he was carried bod- 
ily to the wheel house, where, supported by two of the sailors, 
he guided by feeble tones, the gallant ship through devious 
ways until the hostile fleet was passed. x\s the well known 
lights of his home appeared in the distance, his voice grew 
stronger, but tremulous, for he felt that he was nearing the 
end of life's voyage. "Starboard ; steady ; port ; ease her ; 
stop her ; let go anchor" — with the rattle of the chains he 
sank to the deck, overcome by the dread disease, and on the 
following morning breathed his last. 

Along tlie coast may still be seen the storm-beaten hulls of 
some of the unfortunate ships, which after weathering many 
a gale at sea, came to grief within sight of a friendly port. 
The Beauregard and the Venus lie stranded on Carolina 
Beach ; the Modern Greece near New Inlet ; the Antonica on 
Frying Pan Shoals ; the Ella on Bald Head ; the Spunkey 
and the Georgiana McCall on Caswell Beach ; the Hebe and 
the Dec between Masonboro and Wrightsville. Two others 
lie near Lockwood's Folly bar, and others whose names are 
forgotten, lie half buried in the sands Avhere they may remain 
for centuries. 


I have already quoted a part of Senator Z. B. Vance's 
address delivered in Baltimore in 1885, with reference to the 

Blockade Running. 359 

operations of the State of Xorth Carolina in blockade-run- 
ning under kis administration 'during the late war, and I 
now present the following communication prepared for the 
compiler by the late Colonel James G. Burr, of Wilmington, 
which will be read with interest by many of our older citizens 
who well remember the episode so felicitously described. 

''In the month of August, 1862, Zebulon B. Vance, then 
Colonel of a Xorth Carolina Begiment serving the Army of 
Northern Virginia, and quite a young man, was elected Gov- 
ernor of the State by a large majority. He did not seek the 
office, in fact, objected to the use of his name for the reason 
that he preferred the ]:)Osition which he then held in the army, 
and for the further reason that he thought he was too young 
to be Governor. The people, however, thought differently, 
and he was borne into office by a popular upheaval. Witk 
what energy and vigor he discharged his duties, how true he 
was in every Avay to his State and people are matters of his- 
tory and need not be referred to here. He was inaugurated 
the ensuing September and early in his administration he 
conceived the idea of purchasing for the State a steamer to 
run the blockade at Wilmington, bringing in supplies for our 
soldiers in the field and our suffering people at home. 

"Colonel Thos. M. Crossan, formerly of the United States 
ivTavy, was accordingly sent to England with Mr. Hughes, of 
New Bern, where, in conjunction with Mr. John White, the 
agent of tlie State in England at the time, they purchased the 
fine side-wheel steamer. Lord Clyde, then running between 
Glasgow and Dublin, which name before her advent into 
Southern waters was changed to that of Advance or Ad-Vance, 
the latter in compliment to the distinguished Avar governor 
through whose instructions and active influence the ]3urchase 
had been made. 

"In the Spring of 1863 the Advance made her first success- 
ful trip through the blockaders and arrived safely in the har- 
bor of Wilmington, bringing a large amount of much needed 
supplies. The Governor was informed of her arrival and 
came down immediately, and the next day, Sunday, went 
down on one of the river steamers with a number of his 
friends to the ship, which was lying at the quarantine station 

360 North Carolina Troops. 1861-65. 

about fifteen or sixteen miles below the city. After spending 
several hours on board examining the ship and partaking of 
the hospitalities of its officers, it was determined to take her 
up to the city withou.t waiting for a permit from the health 
officers, as it was assumed the Governor's presence on board 
would be a justification for the violation of quarantine reg- 
ulations. Accordingly, steam was raised, and she came up 
to the city and was made fast to the wharf in front of the 
Custom House. Then occurred a scene which is well re- 
membered to tliis day by all who witnessed it. 

"Scarcely had the ship ])een secured to the wharf when a 
military gentleman in full uniform made his appearance, and 
though he was told that the vessel belonged to the State, and 
that the Governor was on board, he seized the occasion to 
make a display of his authority and to magnify his own im- 
portance. With the manner of a Sir Oracle, and in a loud 
and commanding tone of voice, he peremptorily declared that 
no one should leave the ship, and ordered her immediate re- 
turn to quarantine station down the river. Governor Vance 
happened to be standing near the gangway, heard distinctly 
the rude speech of the military satrap and noticed his offen- 
sive manner ; and his crest rose on the instant. With flash- 
ing eyes he turned upon him, and in a voice of cencentrated 
passion exclaimed : "Do you dare to say, sir, that the Gov- 
ernor of the State shall not leave the deck of his own ship ?" 
The reply of the officer was of such a nature as to add fuel 
to the flames, and an exciting scene would doubtless have oc- 
curred (for the Governor was young then and his blood was 
hot) had not his friends interposed and persuaded him to re- 
tire to the cabin where, after a while, his equanimity was re- 
stored. In the meantime, the Chairman of the Board of 
Commissioners of Navigation, the late P. W. Fanning, who 
had been sent for, arrived upon the scene and promptly set- 
tled the matter by giving his permit for the ship to remain 
where she was, and the immediate landing of all who desired 
to do so. The Governor was the flrst to step upon the gang- 
way, and as he ]iassed down, he stopped for a moment, res- 
pectfully saluted Mr. Fanning, and in a ringing voice ex- 
claimed : "iVo man is more prompt to obey the civil au- 

Blockade Running. 361 

thority than myself, but I will not be ridden over by epau- 
lettes or bayonets." The large crowd which had assembled 
gave him three cheers as he disappeared from view and added 
three more for the gallant ship Ad-Vance, from whose masts 
and yards innumerable flags were flying in the breeze. 

''The Ad-Vance was a first-class ship in every respect; she 
had engines of great power which were very highly finished 
and her speed was good. With a pressure of twenty pounds 
to the square inch she easily averaged seventeen knots to the 
hour and when it was increased to thirty pounds, she reeled 
off twenty loiots without difficulty. Her officers were : Col- 
onel Crossan, Commander ; Captain Wylie, a Scotchman, who 
came oyer wath her, Sailing Master ; Captain Geo. Morri- 
son, Chief Engineer ; Mr. John B. Smith, Signal Officer. 
The only objection to her was her size and heavy draught of 
water, the latter rendering it difficult for her to cross the 
shoals, v/hich at that time were a great bar to the navigation 
of the river, and in consequence of which she could never go 
out or return with a full cargo either of cotton or supplies. 
She ran the blockade successfully seven or eight trips, bring- 
ing in all kinds of supplies — thanks to the energy and wise 
foresight of our patriotic War Governor — that were so much 
needed by our troops and the people. The regularity of her 
trips was remarkable and could be calculated upon almost to 
the very day : indeed, it was common to hear upon the streets 
the almost stereoly]ted remark, 'To-morrow the Ad-Vance will 
be in.' And vhen the morrow came she could generally be 
seen gliding up to her dock with the rich freight of goods and 
wares which were so greatly needed by our people. In the 
meantime, however, she had several narrow escapes from cap- 
ture. Coming from Nassau on one occasion the weather 
being very stormy and a heavy fog prevailing, she ran ashore 
opposite Fort Caswell and remained there two days. The sea 
was so rough that the blockaders could not approach near 
enough to do her any damage, and after discharging part of 
her cargo she was relieved from her perilous position and got 
safely into port. But the most exciting trip was one made 
in the month of July, 1864, from Bermuda. 

"She had on board as passengers a number of prominent 

362 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

gentlemen, among them Marshall Kane, of Baltimore; Rev. 
Dr. Moses D. Iloge, of Richmond, Va., and others who had 
come down from St. Johns, New Brnnswick, and joined the 
ship at Bermuda, and who were extremely anxious to reach 
the Confederate States. By some error in calculation, in- 
stead of making Cape Fear light at 3 a. ni., as was intended, 
they made the light on Cape Lookout, a long distance out of 
their course. What "was best to be done was the question to 
be solved, and to be solved at once, for daylight comes soon in 
July. The ship had scarcely enough coal in her bunkers to 
take her back to the port she had left and almost certain cap- 
ture stared them in the face should they attempt to run in. 
However, it was determined to make the attempt, and the 
ship was headed for New Inlet. Hugging the shore as closely 
as possible, \yitli all steam on, she dashed down the coast with 
the speed of a thoroughbred on a hotly contested race course. 
Fortunately at that time many persons were engaged in mak- 
ing salt on the coast, and the smoke rising from the works 
created a cloud or mist which concealed the ship from the 
blockaders, although it was broad day. But as she neared 
the inlet she was oompelled to change her course further out 
to sea on account of a shoal or spit that makes out into the 
ocean at that ]3oint, and was inunediately discovered by the 
blockading fleet who opened fire upon her and gave chase like 
a pack of hounds in eager pursuit of a inuch coveted quarry. 
It was a most trying situation, for the ship was compelled 
to keep her course, although it carried her nearer and nearer 
to the enemy — until she could round the shoal and run in to- 
wards the land when she would be in comjoarative safety. 
Shot aud shell were flying around her in every direction, but 
she held steadily on, thougli rushing as it seemed to certain 
destruction, when suddenly a roar was heard from the fort ; 
the heavy guns upon the mound had opened upon the pursu- 
ers with such effect as to check their speed and force them 
to retire, and the gallant ship which had been so hardly 
pressed, soon rounded the shoal and was safe beneath the shel- 
tering guns of the fort. 

''But the pitcher that goes often to the fountain is broken at 
last, and ^he time came when the career of the Ad-Vance as a 

Blockade Running. 363 

blockade-rnnner was to cease forever. She was captured on 
her outward trip a few miles from our coast, owing to an in- 
ferior quality of coal she was compelled to use which was very 
lutuminous and which emitted a black smoke that betrayed 
her to the watchful eyes of the fleet; being surrounded by 
them, she was obliged to surrender w'ith her cargo of cotton 
aud her ofliceis and crew as prisoners. She was a noble ship, 
greatly endeared to the people of our State, and her capture 
was felt as a personal calamity. 

"With reference to her capture — her name having been in- 
correctly referred to as the A. D. Vance, and being still mis- 
quoted in the United States Xavy Records, whence I obtained 
the accompanying illustration — the newspaper Carolinian, 
published in Fayetteville 17 September, 1864, said: "The 
loss of the .1. D. Vance is a severe loss to our State. She has 
done noble service for our IS^orth Carolina soldiers, and has 
paid for herself twenty times." 

"In 1867 she made her reapperance in the waters of the 
Cape Fear as the United States man-of-war Frolic, sent to 
this ])ort to ju'event tlie Cuban warship Cuba from leaving 
WilmiuG'ton, whicL duty was successfully performed. It 
happened on that occasion that Captain George Morrison, 
her former engineer, met some of her officers and was asked 
by tliem her rate of speed while he had charge of her engines. 
Tie replied, "Seventeen knots easily." "Impossible," they 
said, "for we have not been able to get more than eight or nine 
out of her." "Something wrong then," said the captain, 
"aud unless you have made some alterations in her machin- 
ery, I will guarantee to drive her to Smithville (Southport) 
at a rate of seventeen knots an hour." He was cordially in- 
vited on board to examine, did so, found that they had placed 
a damper whei-e it ought not to have been and which pre- 
vented the veneration of steam, removed it and then ran down 
to Smithville at the rate of nineteen knots an hour, to the 
great surprise of all on board." 


In the summer of 1864, the Confederate steamer Lilian, 
which had repeatedly reached the Confederacy under com- 

364 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

mand of the gallant Captain John IST. Maffitt, arrived at St. 
George's, Bermuda, after a successful run from Wilmington, 
with a cargo of cotton, which Avas immediatel;y transferred 
to tlie clipper ship Storm King, for Liverpool. I was then a 
lad of about 17 years of age, and had been left behind sick 
by my ship, the steamer North Heath, which was subse- 
quently loaded with stone and sunk in the channel of the 
Cape Fear river by the Confederate authorities, as an obstruc- 
tion to the Federal fleet then threatening an invasion. For- 
tunately for me, the purser of the Lilian, an Englishman, 
having decided that he had enough of the perils of blockade- 
running, tendered his resignation, and I, having been pre- 
viously recommended by Capt. Maffitt, was at once appointed 
in his place. Much to the regret of our officers and men, 
Captain Maffitt was ordered home to take command of the 
ram A Ihemarle, and a skipper of greatly inferior ability suc- 
ceeded him on the Lilian. Our ship was one of the finest of 
the large fleet of vessels then engaged in blockade runnings 
and had been specially designed and built for good service, 
Avith a speed of foiirteen knots an hour, Avhich in those days 
Avas considered A^ery fast. Under the direction of Major 
Xorman Walker, the Confederate agent and Quartermaster 
at St. George's, Ave soon completed our cargo of arms and am- 
munition, blankets, bacon, flour, etc., and Avith a full crcAV of 
forty-eight men, proceeded tOAvards Wilmington, about 720 
miles distant. 

Shortly after getting under Avay, I began paying the crew 
the usual bounty money from several kegs of silver dollars 
Avhich had been rolled on board at the last moment, during 
Avliich I noticed from the sullen manner of nearly our Avhole 
complement of firemen that some trouble Avas brcAving. Just 
as onr pilot Avas leaving us, the firemen on duty struck AA'ork, 
and Avithout any reasonable excuse, demanded to ])e put 
ashore. We soon ascertained that it Avas simply a plot to 
"jump the bounty money," and the ship Avas put about and 
steered a straight course for the harbor, lying Avithin Avhich 
Avas the clipper ship already referred to. Running close 
aboard, our captain hailed him. Storm King ahoy ! Will 
you bring your officers and help us ont Avith some mutineers ?" 


Blockade Running. 365 

Aye, aye, sir, we will," came back the prompt response. In 
a few moments they were with us, and joined our captain, 
chief and second officer in an immediate attack upon the mal- 
contents, who had retreated to the forecastle. Each man 
who refused to work was then unceremoniously knocked 
down, dragged out, and put in irons, and in an almost in- 
credibly short time we were steaming away to sea again. A 
few hours meditation in the calaboose wdthout food or water, 
and the dread of further punishment when we reached the 
Confederacy, brought the unruly firemen to their senses and 
to their work. 

As night drew on we were out of sight of land, and with 
horizon clear of cruisers, began the usual precautions against 
chase or capture. The cabin lights were most carefully 
screened by heavy curtains across the port holes, and even the 
binnacle lamp was tightly covered, leaving only a small peep- 
hole the size of a silver dollar, for the guidance of the quar- 
termaster at the wheel. We saw and passed in darkness, sev- 
eral vessels, being invisible to them, and at dawn carefully 
avoided all those which appeared to be under steam ; one of 
the greatest dangers being the proximity of a hostile vessel at 
daybreak, or upon the clearing of a fog. On the morning of 
the second day we sighted several United States cruisers, but 
successfully evaded them. At noon of the third day we 
found oui'selves in a heavy sea, about fifty miles to the north- 
eastward of Cape Lookout, and as we approached nearer the 
land, we sighted a large man-of-war to windward, which 
speedily bore down upon us and soon got us within range of 
his heavy guns. Owing to the swell which kept our paddles 
rolling out of water, we could not run away, and for several 
hours both vessels steamed a parallel course, so nearly to- 
gether that I could see the men at the guns, their broadside 
batteries raking us fore and aft every minute. N'othing but 
the heavy seaway upon which we bobbed up and down like 
a cork, thereby defeating their aim, saved us from destruc- 
tion. We Avere truly in a bad position which was made worse 
l\v the collapse of one of our boilers, reducing our speed from 
twelve to eight knots, and by the abject fear of onr panic- 
stricken engineers and stokers, who came up in a body and 

366 North Carolina Troops, 1S61-'65. 

begged the captain to surrender at once. But he had no no- 
tion of snch a thing, and having fortified himself A\'ith a bot- 
tle of brandy and a l:)ig navy revolver, was quite prepared to 
hold his own against all odds, and roundly swore he would 
shoot the first man ^vho shirked his duty, a threat w^hich they 
evidently took in earnest, as they immediately went below to 
make the best of it. I had never been under fire before, and 
I confess the situation was painfully distressing to me. Every 
time the big, conical shells like nail kegs came tumbling over 
the rail, with their diabolical wailing shriek, my knees be- 
came unmanageable and smote together in a most demoraliz- 
ing way. I thought every moment would be the last, but 
after a while this desperate feeling was overcome, and I was 
comi:)aratively indifferent to the firing which, strange to say, 
did us very little damage. Our pursuer gradually forced us 
nearer the breakers, along Avhich we dashed with fore and 
aft sails set, thereby steadying our ship and making better 
speed. The cruiser being of much deeper draft, kept well 
off shore and continued a constant and heavy fire which did 
no harm, the shells passing well over us and landing in the 
surf. Our captain, expecting to strike bottom, ordered life- 
boats lowered to the rail, and the crew to take their stations 
the moment the ship was stranded. 

I greatly admired the pluck of several officers of the Con- 
federate cruiser Georgia, who were returning home as our 
passengers, and who amused themselves by measuring with 
their sextants the distance between the contending ships, and 
by noting with their watches the time between the flash of the 
guns and the passing of the projectiles. They were so sure 
of capture, however, that they unfortunately threw overboard 
some vain able rifles and other personal property which might 
have been saved. I threw the Confederate mail bag into the 
furnace, by order of the captain as he seemed to think it was 
quite useless to risk the lives of our crew any longer. 

As the sun went down, however, we were inspired with 
some hope of escape, which increased as night drew" on and 
it became apparent that the cruiser was hauling off a little, 
evidently fearing shoal water in the darkness. Of course we 
were careful to make no lights, and later on we were over- 

Blockade Running. 367 

joyed to see that lie was tiring wildly and forging farther 
ahead. When it became too dark for him to see us, he burned 
Drummond lights and sent up rockets, hoping to attract other 
cruisers to his assistance, but none responded ; and then our 
captain determined upon a bold movement. Lowering our 
sails, we came to a full stop and anxiously awaited the result. 
To our great joy, the enemy continued on his course, firing 
from his broadside guns, under the delusion that we were 
still in the same position. As soon as he got well ahead of 
us, we changed our course and ran under his quarter unob- 
served, leaving him firing at the l)reakers, the roar of which 
had overcome the sound of our ])addles as we crossed his 
wake and sped onwards towards Xew Inlet. 

And now a new and perhaps greater danger confronted 
us. By a careful computation it was ascertained that in our 
crippled condition we could not possibly reach the bur before 
daylight, but as our reduced speed would not save us in a 
chase, our captain resolved to run the gauntlet of the block- 
aders rather than risk capture at sea during the next day. 
We passed a very anxious night, watching with the utmost 
solicitude our unsatisfactory progress as we labored through 
a heavy sea towards our dangerous destination. At the first 
streak of dawn we w^ere oft" Masonboro Sound, and soon after 
distinguished through the haze no fewer than eight block- 
aders apparently waiting to gobble us up. To our astonish- 
ment, however, they took no notice of our approach, as our 
ship was painted the exact color of the sand dunes along the 
beach, which we hugged as closely as Ave dared, and steered 
straight for the fleet, through which we passed without a gun 
being fired ; and when we anchored off Fort Fisher it was 
broad daylight. We learned afterwards that the blockaders 
had not observed us until we were quite near the bar, and then 
they believed, until it was too late, that we had come to join 
the fleet ; a steamer of our description being then due. We 
received a hearty welcome from the boarding officer at Fort 
-Fisher, and steamed up towards Wilmington shortly after- 
wards. While passing Fort Anderson, a gun was fired, but 
having received no intimation at Fort Fisher that we would 
be detained on the river, we continued our course, which was 

368 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

immediately arrested by another gun sending a ronnd shot 
throngh out rigging. We were boarded by Lieutenant Mc- 
Nair (still known as crazy Mac) who laughingly remarked 
that his next shot would have sunk us, as his orders were to 
stop all vessels passing the fort, for inspection. After this 
function was completed, Ave continued our course to Wilming- 
ton, where ^xe were boarded by the quarantine physician, the 
late Dr. William George Thomas, who was greatly interested 
and amused by my description of our exciting adventure. 
Our ship was consigned to Messrs. DeKosset & Brown, the 
collector of the port at that time being Major Henry Savage. 
We discharged cargo at a wharf near the foot of Chestnut 
street and dropjoed down to the Clarendon Iron Works for re- 
pairs, which caused a detention of three weeks. 

During this time several changes were made in our crew. 
The engineers were discharged and sent through the blockade 
as passengers on another steamer, and several stokers who 
had behaved badly during the chase were summarily dealt 
with. When ready for our outward freight, we were laden 
with 1,250 bales of cotton at the Confederate cotton press, 
which stood on the west side of the river below the ferry, 
and which was subsequently destroyed by fire, together 
with a large quantity of cotton. The unbroken brick chim- 
ney still stands like the leaning tower of Pisa, a conspicuous 
relic of an extraordinary era in the foreign trade of Wil- 

It was almost a universal custom of the officers of block- 
ade-nmners to smuggle a few bales of cotton for their per- 
sonal benefit along with the cargo — but I had received strict 
orders from our new captain not to take any on my account, 
nor to permit any one else on board a single bale. I was 
simple enough to follow his instructions, notwithstanding the 
fact that he, Avith characteristic duplicity, had a dozen bales 
put on board secretly at night for himself. I was not sorry 
a few days after to see this sharp adventure go overboard 
with the rest of the deck load to lighten the ship during an 
exciting chase by a Federal cruiser. The bales were bound 
with rope, and axes were used to cut them asunder when 
pitched over the rail, in order that they would fall to pieces 

Blockade Running. 3(j9 

in the sea before being picked up by the pursuers at their 

Sometimes the wake of a blockade-runner could be traced 
for miles by floating bales of cotton which were thrown over 
in an emergency. I remember, while a prisoner on board the 
United States steamer Keystone State, seeing the crew pick 
up as many as a hundred bales in the Gulf Stream, which 
were held together by the bagging only. 

On 22 August, 1864, the Lilian hauled out from the cotton 
press on the west side of the Cape Fear, and anchoi*ed in the 
stream, ready for her sixth voyage through the blockade. 
The Federal squadron, flushed with numerous captures of 
prizes, had become more aggressive and the cordon of watch- 
ful blockaders more closely draAvn than ever before. 

In addition to the ships of war, numerous armed launches 
pati-olled the bar and river under cover of the darkness. 
These scouting barges proved to be to the alert blockaders 
what the sacred cackling geese were to the sleeping Komans, 
for they lay in the track of incoming and outgoing steamers, 
and at the constant risk of being run down, ga\'e cpiick and 
timely wari:!ing to the enemy of any approaching vessel, by 
burning Druuimond lights and by firing their rockets and 
howitzers after the ]:>haiitom steamers, as they loomed up and 
quickly disappeared in the gloom. It was said that occa- 
sional captures were made of tiuiid blockade-runners by these 
small fry, but only such as Avere open to the charge of cow- 
ardice took any notice of their hail beyond an immediate at- 
tempt to run them down. 

Extraordinary preparations had been made for a success- 
ful voyage. In addition to the usual cargo of about 1,200 
bales of cotton, we had five Cape Fear pilots on board, four of 
whom were passengers, going out for as many new steamers 
awaiting them in Bermuda. Two of the five survive, the 
other three have run their last course and ''crossed the bar." 
Young Tom Grissom, our ship's pilot, fearless and daring to 
tlie last, was lost during a memorable gale some years ago 
with four others in the ill-fated Mary K. Sprunt. Joseph 
Thompson and William Craig died some years ago ; James 
W. Craig, a highly respected citizen, is still to the fore, and 

370 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'G5. 

James Bell is now a well known pilot at Fernandina, Florida. 

After the usual precautions against spies and stowaways 
by the crnel test of fumigation, and farewell tokens to the 
thirsty officers fi'om the forts, we were at last free to face 
the music with which we were usually greeted in our attempts 
to get outside. Wliile feeliug our way cautiously in the 
darkness, and before we reached the first line of blockaders, 
a large Ijarge appeared close aboard from which came the 
warning cry, "Heave to, or I'll sink you." Instantly our 
helm went hard a-port in the pilot's eagerness to run him 
down. The barge was too wary, however, as striking our 
sponsons with an unsuccessful cast of his grappling irons, 
he fired his signal rocket almost sinuiltaneously with his bow 
gun and quickly dropped astern. The silence was now broken 
by the order "Full speed ahead !" followed by a blinding 
glare of pyrotechnics from every ship in the squadron, and 
by a ])andemonium of artillery both deafening and confusing. 
I can never forget the antics, on this occasion, of our second 
steward, old ]\Iickey Mahoney, who, calling upon all the 
saints in the calendar for deliverance, tumbled headlong 
down the companionwa}', with such groans and shrieks of ter- 
ror, that we thought the poor fellow had gone mad. 

The cannonading was a repetition of the Kilkenny cat 
fight, as the shells crashing over us were apparently doing 
more damage to the fleet than to us. Boom ! Boom ! went 
their heavy ordnance, Avith such rapidity and recklessness 
that we drove at our best speed without serious damage, and 
in half an hour had left them all behind except one of their 
fastest ships which pursued us until nearly daylight, when 
he returned to the station. 

After the storm, the calm, ^ext morning dawned upon 
a scene so quiet, so peaceful, that the events of the night 
seemed but an ugly dream which passed aAvay with the dark- 
ness. The sea, like glass, with not a ripple upon its surface, 
dense white clouds above the horizon reflecting the glory of 
the sun resplendent in the east; the watch on deck tranquil 
and motionless, with naught to disturb the profound stillness 
save the monotonous rundile of our feathered paddles as the 

Blockade Running. 371 

Btaunch little ship sped on her course toward the distant Ber- 

To some of us, tlie danger of yellow fever, which was then 
raging in St. George's, was more dreadful than that of the 
blockade. Among the hundreds of its victims some weeks 
later were many gallant Southerners, including our genial 
friend and fellow townsman, Captain Robert Williams, 
purser of the Index. At eight bells, which was announced 
from the bridge, but never struck unless in port, the lookout 
in the crow's nest aloft aroused the sleepy company with his 
shrill cry of ''Sail ho!" ''Where away?" responded the 
skipper. "Two points on the starboard bow, sir." At first 
only a thin haze was visible ; then the spars and hull of an 
unmistakable cruiser gradually came into view, showing a de- 
cided inclination for closer acquaintance. 

Again the warnino- cry from aloft : "On deck there. An- 
other steamer on the starboard beam. He rises fast, sir, and 
is heading for us I" Almost immediately a third steamer 
appeared dead ahead. Our course was then changed to bring 
two steamers abeam and one astern, and a few minutes later 
two more steamers joined in the chase from the port bow. 
We had run into the Gulf Stream squadron, the second cor- 
don of gunboats in the track of the blockade runners one day 
out, by w^hich many were picked up at daybreak who, having 
escaped the previous night, found themselves under the gims 
of a cruiser. in the haze of the morning. Hopeful and fairly 
confident of our ability to outstrip the first three pursuers, 
we had run up a new Confederate flag in the face of our en- 
emies, which was soon made the target of their artillerists, 
and carried away in the beginning of the fray. The shriek- 
ing shells from three directions which passed far ahead of 
us in line shots, proved very soon our inability to get away; 
nevertheless, our Captain determined to attempt an escape 
by running between the two nearest ships. Keystone State 
and Gettysburg, thus getting them within the danger line of 
their own fire, as well as that of our other pursuers. 

The Lilian s engines were already going at such speed that 
it was impossible to stand the heat of the fire room more than 
a few minutes at a time, while she tore through the water 

372 North Carolina Troops, 1861 -'(35. 

like a thoroughbred on a race course. As we rapidly ap- 
proached the two ships in close action, it seemed as if we were 
running into the jaws of destruction. Their firing was 
frightfully accurate; the spray from the falling and plung- 
ing shells flying over the rail and into our faces. Old Bos- 
ton dragging behind, managed to make himself both heard 
and felt as he blazed away with his heav}^ bow chaser. After 
about three hours of this hot work, a conical shell from the 
Gettysburg pierced us in the starboard bow just below the 
water line, which sent a sharp quiver through the entire ship 
and caused such a rush of water into the forehold that our 
speed was immediately slackened, and the Lilian for the first 
time refused the helm. InefPectual efforts were made to stop 
up the hole with blankets, and within another half hour of 
keen suspense, came the reluctant last order, "Hard a-port! 
Ease her! Stop her!" and the little vessel lay motionless 
like a dying stag surrounded by his foes. A barge from the 
Gettysburg was quickly alongside, joined later by one from 
the Keystone State, and a Federal ofiicer, making his way 
to the bridge and to our sullen and disgusted commander, 
formally declared the Lilian a prize to the United States, 
and the ship's company prisoners of war. J\l any of our peo- 
ple then hastily prepared such valuables and clothing as 
could be readily taken with them, but, lost in contemplation 
of the novel and startling scene, I continued to gaze with 
wonder until we were unceremoniously hustled .away to the 
Keystofie State, when I realized that I had left nearly every- 
thing behind. 

A few weeks of im]3risonment, sleeping upon a hard floor, 
developed such holes in the posterior of my nether garment, 
that I was obliged to strike a hard bargain with our chief 
officer, Bill Jones, and envelop my attenuated extremities 
in an old pair of his trousers intended for a person twice my 
size. After the war was over, this worthy, while capttin ol 
the schooner Luola Miircliison, made a formal demand of 
"twelve dollars for them jiants," which was promptly paid 
with some mental reservation. 

Some of our officers and men, including the Captain, were 
kept on the Gettyshnrg, but the majority were transported 

Blockade Running. 373 

to the Keystone State, commanded by a gentleman of the old 
navy, Pierce Crosl)y, who subsequently became an Admiral, 
and who is, I believe, still livino- in Washington. ' I found 
that my company was immediately desired in the ward-room, 
where several impatient officers were waiting, with pencils in 
hand, to ascertain their ])roportion of prize money; and 
having no reason to conceal facts which would be inevitably 
revealed later, I gave them, as purser, all the information 
about our cargo necessary to make them, in turn, most cour- 
teous and considerate in their treatment of myself and ship- 
mates during our confinement on board. I was assigned 
quarters in the ward-room, where I messed with the lieu- 
tenants and paymaster ; a comfortable hammock and a ser- 
vant to attend to me, with every necessary convenience, made 
me feel more like a guest than a prisoner, the only restric- 
tion being between sunset and sunrise, during which I was 
required to be below. 

Shortly after our arrival on lx)ard the Keystone State, our 
company was mustered on deck and sent in squads of two for 
examination by the commander below. The five pilots al- 
ready referred to had agreed at the moment of surrender, to 
personate firemen, and each passed inspection, apparently 
without suspicion, until Tom Grissom, our regular pilot, was 
called doAvn with me. He was interrogated first, and in an- 
swer to the question as to his place of residence ashore, re- 
sponded promptly, to my amazement, ''Smithville, Xorth 

I saw at once from the quick, searching look of our inquis- 
itor, ihat our pilot had betrayed himself, it being Avell known 
that Smithville was a pilot village, and special efforts having 
been made by the United States authorities to apprehend the 
Smithville pilots who were indispensable to the success of 
blockade rnnninu'. Indeed, nearly every man examined, was 
urged to inform on the ship's pilot, our captors never dream- 
ins we had no fewer than five on board. When, some weeks 
after, nearly all of our people were released, Mr. Grissom, 
as mi2:ht have been ex]>ected, was detained and confined in 
prison for several montbs. I did all I could to avert suspi- 
cion from him during our united confinement, but it proved 

374 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

ineffectual. Ou our return to the deck we saw in the faces 
of our companions that something had gone wrong in our ab- 
sence. While Messrs. Bell and Craig were quietly congrat- 
ulating each other upon the apparent success of their ruse, 
they saw approaching them the pilot, w^ho had come aboard 
to take the Keystone State into Beaufort harbor, and who, 
to their consternation, proved to be George F. Bowen, a Cape 
Fear pilot who had been decoyed on board a Federal gun- 
boat in the early part of the war and induced to remain in 
the service until the close. They naturally feared exposure 
by Bowen's recognition, or by his information to the Fed- 
eral officer, but were reassured by his apparent indifference as 
he ]iassed them. A few minutes later Mr. Bowen repassed us 
and looking furtively at our party, said in a low voice, to our 
intense relief: "Don't recognize me; you are safe. I will 
not betray you." 

The Lilian in the meantime had been temporarily re- 
paired and sent for adjudication to Philadelphia, where she 
was subsequently fitted out as a gun-boat, and took part in 
the bombardment of Fort Fisher. For several days our life 
on board the Keystone State was pleasant enough, chasing 
blockade-runners, ]:)icking up cotton Avhich had been thrown 
overboard by a hard-pressed Confederate, and communicat- 
ing with other vessels of the Federal squadron, of which was 
the MonticeJlo, commanded by the celebrated Lieutenant 
Cushing. who was nearly sunk by Colonel Lamb's batteries 
while in our company, a large ragged hole in his hull between 
wind and water proving the accuracy of Fort Fisher's gun- 

Our easement was soon ended, however, for one unlucky 
morning we were transported to a casemate inside of Fort 
Macon, ISTorth Carolina, then occupied by a battalion of 
North Carolinians, known by the Confederates as "Buffa- 
loes," who had joined the Federal army. Our treatment at 
the hands of these people Avas the reverse of that received on 
the Keystone State. There was not sufficient space in our 
quarters for us all to lie down at once, and consequently I 
slept nightly for several M'eeks with my head u]ion my neigh- 
bor on one side and my legs over another. Our food was 

Blockade Running. 375 

served twice daily and was of the coarsest description, but 
we were permitted to buy butter, crackers, sardines and the 
like at high prices from the sutler. 

We were allowed to march out upon the parapet for an 
hour daily, under guard, from which we gazed with longing 
eyes upon the opposite shore in Dixie's Land. From Fort 
Macon we were transferred to an old tub still sailing out of 
Boston, which shall be nameless. This vessel was com- 
manded by a volunteer captain of the United States navy ; a 
character unspeakably different from that of the gentlemen of 
the regular navy. I was at once confined between decks, de- 
nied any liberty, and forced to mess with our sailors and fire- 
men upon salt pork and mouldy hardtack, with the bare deck 
for a bed and rats for companions. How I loathed that ship 
and its beastly commander during the long, miserable days 
and nights, rolling and pitching on the Atlantic, without the 
least hint of our destination or fate ! It seemed an age be- 
fore we were ordered out of our hold and were transferred to 
Fortress Monroe, where we were again mustered and some 
of our number sent to Fort Delaware and others to Point 

Upon our release from confinement as prisoners of war at 
Fortress Monroe, I joined a small party of the Lilian s of- 
ficers and, by the help of one of our number who had dis- 
creetly hidden several twenty dollar gold pieces under his 
shirt, ^ye proceeded to Boston — a dangerous place for South- 
erners at that time — where we found a steamer bound for St. 
John, Xew Brunswick, via Eastport, Maine, by which we 
hurriedly embarked, and in a few days landed again upon 
British soil. The tide at St. John's rises more than forty 
feet, owing to the extraordinary formation of the Bay of 
Fundy, and having occasion to return to the steamer a few 
hours after our arrival, I was astonished to find the vessel 
above the level of the wharf, upon which we had required a 
ladder to debark. 

From St. John we travelled by train to Halifax, Nova 
Scotia, where we reported to the Confederate agent, Alexan- 
der Keith, Jr. This person, the son of an eminent gentle- 
man, said to be a member of the Provincial Parliament, was 

37() North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

at that time one of the most popular Southern sympathizers. 
He was a man of fine presence, good business qualifications, 
courteous and amiable to a degree. He was trusted by all, 
and he acted as banker for nearly every Southerner who 
came his way. Halifax was then the center of large Con- 
federate interests. Several Confederate war steamers were 
there, among them the Chickamauga and the Tallahassee. 
It was the rendezvous of blockade-runners who had escaped 
from confinement or who had been discharged after several 
months detention by the Federals. Keith was attentive 
to all of them. When the war ended he suddenly disap- 
peared with the cash entrusted to him. 

Several years after, there was a great explosion upon the 
deck of a German mail steamer which produced a sensation 
throughout the entire world. An infernal machine, in- 
tended to wreck the Moselle, had prematurely exploded on 
the quay and killed and maimed a large number of persons, 
among whom was the shipper, under an assumed name. This 
man, mortalh' wounded, was eagerly questioned by the police 
as to his diabolical plans and accomplices ; the only clue they 
obtained from his incoherent ravings was an intimation that 
he had heen in some way connected with the Confederacy, 
and strangely enough he said something about Captain Maf- 
fitt and my ship, the Lilian. The authorities took photo- 
grai'ihs of him, A\-liich were imperfect because of the reclining 
position of the dying man. Further investigation after his 
death revealed one of the most fiendish plots in commercial 
history ; large shipments of bogus goods had been made by the 
nnd lieavily insured by this stranger, who had designed 
■ ' ; k machine intended, it was said, to explode three days 
■ ior the sailing of the steamer, and sink her with all on 

"(1. For many months the secret service detectives were 

'iiig on this case; at length one of them came to Wil- 

.•'ij"'"M)n and questioned me about the man whose picture was 

' iMted. Xeither T nor any of the pilots at Smithville 
;d identify him, although his face was strangely familiar 

M10. The detective went away, but returned in a few 

. 's and asked me if T had known a man named Keith. 
>s." T at once replied, "'and he was the author of this 

Blockade Running. 377 

awful crime." Such proved to be the case. It was the old 
story of depraved associates and the downward road to ruin. 

Halifax was an important fish market. The codfish trade 
stowed the stock of dried fish in the ojjen wharves in stacks of 
several tons in weight for convenient shipment in bulk, prin- 
cipally to the West Indies. The city market for fresh fish 
was perhaps the finest on the continent. Running sea water 
through large glass tanks above the street level kept the live 
fish in the best condition, from which they were taken as de- 
sired with scoop nets. At that time communication with 
Bermuda was suspended because of the prevailing epidemic 
of yellow fever, which carried off a large proportion of the 
population of St. George's and PTamilton. Being therefore 
obliged to remain in Halifax for several weeks, I obtained 
comfortable quarters in a private boarding house, with a 
friend from Smithville, who was waiting to pilot another 
steamer to the Confederacy. He esteemed himself above the 
common herd of his profession, and although possessing the 
excellent traits of courtesy and kindliness, was pompous and 
illiterate in his manner of speech. He was not a pilot, he 
said, but a pilafc, which pretension, cou]iled with the gener- 
ous girth of his waist-band, suggested the nickname of "Paun- 
chious Pilate," which has stuck in my mind ever since. At 
length the brig Eliza Ba7\9e was advertised to sail for Ber- 
muda and I was directed to take passage in her for St. 
George's and join the new steel steamer Susan Biirnv, which 
Avas expected to arrive shortly for blockade-rnnning service. I 
accordingly sailed on the brig with several others who decided 
to risk the yellow fever in the islands, then reported as dimin- 
ishing. Our vessel was old and badly found, as we soon real- 
ized to our dismay. The food was coarse and limited, ascer- 
taining which just before sailing, one of our party sup])le- 
mented it with a bushel of hard, green pears of the variety 
that never ripens, the effect of which is still a painful mem- 

We had scarcely left Xova Scotia when we ran into stormy 
weather, during which our captain lost his reckoning and af- 
ter floundering about in search of more com])etent navigators, 
the sun and stars having been obscured for several days and 

378 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

nights, we sighted in the distance a French barque, which we 
immediately attempted to signaL Our halyards parted be- 
fore the flags reached the truck of the mainmast; we then 
tried the foremast with like result ; the signal halyards were 
rotten. After some delay a new line was found and fearing 
to order a man aloft in such a sea, the captain called for a 
volunteer to reeve the halyards. A big, ordinary seaman 
came forAvard and with the end of the line in his mouth, got 
safely up the shrouds, but when he l)egan to climb the main- 
top-gallant mast our hearts stood still, for with each lurch and 
roll of the ship his body swung out in mid air, supported only 
by the grip of his hands upon the stays. Viewed from the 
deck, we expected each moment to be his last, the frightful 
arc described by the rolling top-gallant mast appalling every 
one of us, accustomed as we were to the dangers of the sea. 
Tlie captain, by shouts and signs, ordered him back, but the 
poor felloAv could neither go up nor come down until a fortu- 
nate roll of the ship enabled him to clasp his legs around the 
stays. When he reached the deck a few minutes later he was 
weeping from the nervous shock. iSTone of the sailors would 
attempt the feat, and the captain was in despair until the 
mulatto cook volunteered to go. From his first steps on the 
f uttock shrouds we felt that he would succeed ; agile and alert 
he reached the main truck, through which he reeved the line 
and descended without accident. It was grand to see the 
Frenchman respond to our signals of distress; raised to the 
mountain tops of a raging sea until his copper glistened above 
the waves, he would then plunge dowuAvard into the hollow 
troughs beyond our view, to reappear again and again as we 
drew nearer. Presently two men ascended her main rig- 
ging, holding a blackboard, upon which in large chalk letters 
was shown her last reckoning. With thanks we parted, to 
meet some hours later a greater peril. 

It happened at night in a heavy sea. I was sitting on 
deck when a pufF of smoke came from the poop. I ran aft 
and fnnnd the binnacle lamp upset and the cabin on fire. 
Our only boat was an old rotten affair, fastened upon chocks 
on deck, unseaworthy and utterly useless. It was, therefore, 
an exciting' time until we succeeded bv the use of buckets 

Blockade Running. 37& 

over the side, iu putting out the fire. We landed at Ber- 
muda after a voyage of two weeks, and joined a few survi- 
vors of the plague, among them Signal Officer Gregory, of 
Xorth Carolina, who reported the death of Captain Kobert 
Williams, of Wilmington, formerly commander of the Wil- 
mington Rifle Guards. 

A few days afterwards the Susan Bcinie arrived under 
command of Captain Wylie, of the Ad-Vance, and Eugene 
Maffitt as first officer. They gave her a bad name, which she 
fully sustained upon subsequent acquaintance. Built of 
steel one-eighth of an inch thick, for space and speed, she 
was too frail for service at sea, and quite unfit for heavy 
weather. To look upon, she was a beautiful specimen of 
marine architecture, long and narrow, with a speed of four- 
teen knots — a type of the latest designs for blockade-running, 
regardless of the lives of those on board. We began at once 
to load the new steamer at the Confederate States' agency, 
and proceeded to sea, bound for Wilmington. Trouble ap- 
peared when we were only five hours out. The weather was 
threatening when we sailed, but the moon was increasing and 
dark nights were indispensable to successful blockade-run- 
ning. There was no time to spare and our captain decided 
to risk the chances of bad weather in the hope that our speed 
would run us through the worst of it in a few hours. On the 
second day we encountered a storm which soon strained our 
frail vessel, and caused a dangerous leak. Before midday 
the storm increased to a hurricane. The leaks multiplied, 
as the rivets which held the steel plates gave way, and twelve 
of our fourteen furnaces were soon submerged. All hands 
were put to work bailing and pumping, l>ut the water gained 
on us until we feared the ship would founder at any moment. 
When night drew on the scene w^as appalling ; sometimes the 
ship would wallow in the depths like a log, the added weight 
of water in her hold keeping her down until we feared she 
would never rise again. Some of our men, exhausted by the 
continued strain of unceasing work, fell at their posts and be- 
came unconscious. I will never forget the horrors of that 
night ; running through the fleet under fire would have been 
welcome relief. The vivid flashes of lightning illuminated 

380 North Carolina Troops, 1861 -'65. 

the black and angfy sky in ■which there was no hope of the 
storm's abatement. The men were tied to life lines, hag- 
gard and despairful as they toiled wearily at the pumps. 
Steadily the leaks gained until the firemen stood in water up 
to their hips. Our lives depended upon getting the ship 
about so that we could head her for Bermuda. This move- 
ment would bring us broadside to the sea, and the captain 
waited several hours for a favorable lull in which to make the 
venture. At last he put the helm hard over and took the only 
alternative ; great masses of water surged over the side and 
for several moments we sank into the trough until it seemed 
we would never rise again. A merciful Providence spared 
us ; the ship groaned and shook as if she would go to pieces 
under the strain, bttt we got her head to the wind, and steered 
back towards St. George's. On the morning of the third day 
we sighted the islands. The water in the fire rooms was re- 
duced by the pum])s so that we could drive along at a fotir- 
teen knot pace. The captain, worn with anxiety and lack 
of sleep, and perhap's stupid from the efi^ect of stimttlants, 
forgot the dangerous reef which runs miles out from the 
islands, and stiddenly, without a moment's warning, our ship 
strttck the rocky bottom with terrible force, tearing a hole in 
the bow, through which the w^ater rushed like a mill stream. 
The concussion threw us flat on the deck, and our captain, 
losing his head completely, sang otit: "All hands take to the 
boats '■' Immediately the firemen and stokers and sailors 
rushed to the side, some of them so frantic with fear that I 
saw them chop with an axe the iron davits, the falls of which 
they had fouled in their eagerness to escape. In the midst 
of this exciting scene, I saw General Preston, who was a 
passeno-er with us, dragging a large trunk about the deck in a 
vain endeavor to get it in one of the boats. 

Our signal officer, Mr. Gregory, stood with me waiting for 
the panic to subside. We noticed that the engines were still 
driving at full speed ahead, and we supposed that the en- 
gineer on duty had fled. Such, however, was not the case. 
There was one mail who had kept his head, our chief en- 
gineer. Jack Chambers, of Georgia, who was fortunately on 
dtity when the ship struck. Our captain had not ordered the 

Blockade Running. 381 

engines stopped and Chambers said he never acted without 
orders from the bridge. Consequently, his presence of mind 
saved the ship and onr lives ; the furious movement of the 
paddle wheels lifted the steamer over the reef into deep 
water and then we ran for the beach upon which, inside the 
harbor, we were stranded a short time afterwards. Several 
weeks were spent in patching up, by means of divers whose 
movements under the water so interested our captain that he 
decided to put on the diving dress and. descend to inspect the 
work. He had scarcely reached the bottom, about twenty 
feet deep, when he made frantic signals to be hauled up 
again, and he declared upon the removal of the helmet that 
he had seen the devil or a shark making straight for him, 
and that he thought his end had come. We, of his subordi- 
nates, inclined to the latter hypothesis, because we believed 
that the former was his w^arm, personal friend who need not 
have sought the captain in such an out-of-the-way place. 
We failed to get j^ermission from the British Government to 
use the naval dry-dock, and we found it necessary to proceed 
to ivTassau in a crippled condition, to complete repairs on 
the public dock there. For several days we did not secure a 
crew, owing to the unsea worthy condition of the ship, but at 
last we signed on a sufficient numl)er at high wages, and after 
an uneventful voyage reached ISI^assau, where we were im- 
mediately docked. 

While we were repairing at ISTassau, the Confederate 
steamer Ou-l, commanded by Captain Maffitt, appeared in the 
offing and later ran close past us in the harbor, a shot hole 
through her funnel, several more in her hull, standing rig- 
ging in rags, and other indications of a hot time, confirming 
our apprehensions that she had failed to reach the Confeder- 
acy. A few minutes later the gallant Maflitt reported that 
Fort Fisher had fallen and that Charleston harbor was also 
in possession of the Federals. The gateway to the South 
was at last closed and the occupation of blockade-runners 
was at an end. 

It was not believed that the war would terminate so soon 
after, and I accepted an invitation to join Major Green, with 
dispatches for the Confederate Government from representa- 

382 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

tives abroad, wliicli lie proposed to take in our steam launch 
by way of Florida. This launch was forty feet long- and 
could steam about ten miles an hour. Our chief engineer, 
Mr. Lockhart, and his first assistant, Mr. Carroll, and one 
of John Morgan's men, an escaped prisoner, accompanied us. 
We parted with our friends, some of whom tried to dissuade 
us from what they termed a foolhardy undertaking, by which 
they said, we were certain to lose our lives. We hoped to 
reach the Florida coast in two days, instead of which we 
Avere more than a month on the way. 

The first night out from Nassau, one of the cylinder heads 
broke, and when morning dawned we got out our oars and 
laboriously toiled until evening to reach the island of Green 
Turtle Cay, inhabited entirely by negroes, none of whom 
could aid us in repairing the damage to our engine. Mr. 
Lockhart fell desperately sick with internal inflammation, 
and I took the ]iart of nurse for tAvo weeks. The situation 
was most de]iressing. Upon Lockhart's recovery, we de- 
cided to abandon the launch, and a small schooner used for 
sponging at the islands was purchased for the voyage to Flor- 
ida. Ca])tain Wark, a Bahama pilot, and two negro boys, 
were employed to sail her, and they were to be rewarded with 
the vessel if they landed us safely. Our food consisted of 
fish which we caught with hook and line over the side, fried 
bacon and hardtack. 

There was room for onh^ three of us to lie down, so we ar- 
ranged watches accordingly. Our morning ablutions were 
simple. We washed our faces in the green sea, which was 
only sixteen inches from the deck of the vessel. I would 
not now cross the Cape Fear in such a craft, and I look back 
in wonder and thankfulness that our lives were spared 
through the dangers of that expedition. We had fine weather 
for ten days at sea, otherwise our frail craft would never 
have seen the land again. At last we sighted the tall, white 
lighthouse on Cape Carnavoral, off which a mile distant we 
anchored and proceeded two at a time in our cockle shell of 
a dingy to land in the surf. I was much interested at the 
sight of cormorants fishing in a circle off the Cape. These 
■creatures assembled there by thousands, and, forming a huge 

Blockade Running. 383 

circle on the water about a rnile in circumference, gradually 
narroAved the inside space by swimming towards the center, 
driving the fish before them and filling their peculiar and 
spacious jDOuclies under their bills until they were too heavily 
laden to fly. 1 waited on board until the last passage to the 
beach. The others had landed in safety, although with wet 
skins. Before leaving the schooner, Captain Wark warned 
me against standing u]3 in the small boat while in the break- 
ers, which would inevitably capsize it. This precaution 
would have been heeded but for a school of ravenous sharks 
which met us on the way and seized the two oars, breaking 
them like pipe stems in their ugly mouths. The negro boy 
who was with me in the boat became panic-stricken and stood 
up against my warning as we entered the surf on a big roller. 
We were instantly thrown high in the air, the boat came 
down with a crash and I found myself on the bottom clawing 
the sand until I emerged upon dry land. The others rushed 
in and saved the darkey and the boat, upon which he managed 
to return to the schooner. With a wave of the hand, Captain 
Wark hoisted sail and left us helpless on the beach. We 
tramped to the lighthouse about a mile away and found it 
dismantled and deserted. From its lantern gallery, sixty 
feet high, we surveyed the Cape upon which there was no 
human habitation. We then set out to walk across the Cape 
and reached an old landing on the estuary of St. John's river, 
which we afterwards learned was called the Bay of Biscay be- 
cause of its exposed position and rough sea. Here we found 
a rough batteau hewn from a cypress log, and in it our entire 
party of five persons crossed that dangerous sea, fourteen 
miles, to the main land. I never in all my life had seen so 
many alligators ; within a cable's length of our boat I counted 
forty-five large ones. In paddling our canoe we carefully 
avoided them, but several of these ugly creatures rose within 
a few feet of our boat. We were thankful to get on shore 
again and we shaped our course at once to walk toward Ocala, 
one hundred and seventy-five miles distant. The spring had 
been unusually dry and we suffered much during the first two 
days from lack of drinking water. We were armed with 
sheath knives and pistols strapped to our waists. The former 

384 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

were very useful for digging holes two feet deep in the porons 
earth through which enough brackish water oozed to quench 
our thirst. 

On the third evening at dusk I missed my knife and went 
back to look for it, the others going forward. The road was 
blind and the darkness settled upon me so rapidly that I lost 
my way. The melancholy cry of the whippoorwill met me at 
every turn, and I realized for the second time in my life a 
sense of abject and hopeless fear. I recalled to the minutest 
detail a similar experience when I had been sent from a kins- 
man's plantation in Duplin county to the salt works on Ma- 
sonboro Sound. 

Fortunately for me our company made their camp fire 
for the night shortly after we were separated by which I 
soon rejoined them. We usually slept on the ground under 
a tree, as all the plantation houses we found were deserted, 
and we -were warned by the only man whom we met against 
any demonstration likely to attract attention from the Fed- 
erals who sometimes were seen in the vicinity, or from bush- 
whackers and deserters who were simply highwaymen. 
About a week from the time we landed on the cape we reached 
the outskirts of Ocala, when we learned for the first time of 
the general surrender. We tlien buried the Confederate dis- 
patches under an old tree and continued our tramp to Gaines- 
ville, thence to Jacksonville, from which we proceeded to 
Fernandina. From there we were sent under guard to Hil- 
ton TTead to report to General Gilmore, where we arrived 
after dark. I was left with Mr. Carroll to watch the knap- 
sacks while the others went to headquarters. A tug was 
alongside bound for Charleston. Carroll and I thought the 
chance too good to be lost and leaving the baggage we quickly 
slipped over the side and hid ourselves on the tug, which 
landed us in Charleston the next morning. There we dodged 
about the wharves all day, evading the sentries, and secured 
at dusk passage on another tug for Wilmington. As we ap- 
]:>roached the main bar without a blockader in sight, we real- 
ized the fact that peace had returned to our distracted coun- 
try. When we landed at Wilmington, neither Carroll nor I 

Blockade Running. 385 

had taken any oath of allegiance since we left Nassau, nor 
had we been paroled nor questioned on the wav. 


The biography of this uiudest hero has never been written. 
I give the following brief sketch prepared by the accom- 
plished Mrs. J. ]^. Maffitt at the time of her distinguished 
husband's decease. 

'^'John Xewland ]\Laffitt was born at sea on 22 February, 
1819. His parents were Rev. .Tohn Xewland Maffitt and 
Ann Carnicke, his wife. Rev. Mr. ]\Iaffitt, having deter- 
mined to emigi'ate to America, left Ireland with his wife and 
family late in January or early in February, and landed in 
Xew York on 21 April, 1819, his son having been born on 
the passage. Their first home was in Connecticut. When 
John was about five years old his uncle, Dr. William ^laf- 
fitt, who had accompanied them to America, visited his 
brother. Rev. My. ]\laffitt, and finding him in straightened 
circumstances, begged to adopt their son, and on the consent 
of his parents. Dr. Maffitt brought his nephew to Fayette- 
ville, N. C. Some years were passed in this hap])v liome of 
his boyhood, when his uncle determined to send him to school 
at White Plains, X. Y. As a little stripling, he started by 
the old time stage coach with his ticket tacked to his jacket, 
and on his arrival much curiosity was shown to see the little 
boy who had come alone fi*om his distant Southern home. 
He remained at this school under Professor Swinburn until 
he was 13 years old, when his father's friends obtained for 
him a commission as midshipman in the United States navy. 

''His first orders were to the St. Louis, then at Pensacola 
navy yard. His second sea orders were to the Consiitution, 
the flagship of the squadron, commanded by Commodore El- 
liott, then fitting out for the Mediterranean. This cruise 
lasted three years and six months, and it was during that 
time that most of the incidents related in the Nautilus took 
place. Having been appointed aid to Commodore Elliott, 
the young midshipman had many advantages not otherwise 
obtainable. He was next ordered to the frigate Macedonian 
as past midshipman, and it was while in port at Pensacola, 

386 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

Fla., that ho had his lirst experience of 'yellow jack' and 
came near losing his life. His first independent command 
was the Gallatin. lie conmianded also the brig- Dolphin 
and several others. He was engaged under Professor Bache 
for some years on the coast survey, and was of great service to 
the professor, wliicli the latter was not slow to acknowledge. 
Much of their work was in the harbors of Xantucket, Charles- 
ton, Wilmington and Savannah. A channel in the harbor 
of Charleston still bears his name. 

"In January, 1860, while in command of the Crusader j, 
and also acting as paymaster of the vessel, he was ordered 
by the Secretary of the Navy to proceed to Mobile and there 
cash a check on the collector of the port for prize money due 
the officers and crew. The city being agitated at the time by 
the ordinance of secession just passed by the State of Ala- 
l3ama, he was forced to put his vessel in a defensive position 
and soon retired to the port of Havana. Here, failing to ne- 
gotiate with the Bank of Havana for the funds requisite for 
the necessities of the vessel, he advanced from his private 
funds the money needed to work the steamer to New York, 
where he was ordered. He turned the steamer over to the 
proper authorities and went to Washington to settle his ac- 
counts. His cash accounts received no attention, though for 
several nioiiths he was a constant applicant for settlement. 
A trying ]wsition was his since his wife was dead and his 
children had no Idnsfolk save in North Carolina. If he re- 
mained in the navy his property, which was all North, 
would be secured to him. All that appealed to his interests 
lay there. I.ove of profession was entwined with every 
fibre of his being. On the other hand he would have been com- 
pelled to fight against his people — perhaps fired upon the 
very home that had sheltered him and was then sheltering his 
defenceless children. One night a friend informed him that 
his name was down for arrest the next day. His affections 
drew him South. His resignation having been accepted, he 
felt free to leave and cast his fortunes with his people. 

"His war record is well known. Captain Maffitt reached 
N'assau 16 May, 1862, and at the request of Captain Bul- 
lock, Confederate navy agent in Europe, he took charge of 

Blockade Rlnnixg. 387 

the iiunl)oat Ore to. afterwards christened the Florida, and 
hastened to sea. Afterwards he was in command of the 
blockade-runners Lilian, Ovl and other vessels engaged in 
bringing in supplies and munitions of war for the South. 
His brilliant career on the seas continued until the failure 
of his health compelled his resignation in April or June, 

"At the close of the war, his property confiscated and he an 
exile, he applied for a conunand in the English merchant ser- 
vice and was given the command of a fine steamer running 
between Livei"pool and Rio Janeiro. She was subsequently 
sold to the. Brazilian Government, and used as an army trans- 
port. While conveying several hundred soldiers to the scene 
of action, smallpox broke out among them, and as the well 
refused to nurse the sick or bury the dead, these duties de- 
volved u]^on Captain Maffitt, and a fearful time he had- — ■ 
'sickening to the last degree' — he described it; and the sol- 
diers were mutinuous and without discipline. He retained 
command of this steamer for eighteen months, Avhen at the 
iirgent entreaty of his family, he resigned the command and 
caine home. He soon after pui'chased a small farm near 
Wilming-ton, where he resided for nearly eighteen years. In 
July, 1885, he moved to Wilmington. For a year or two 
his health had been failing, but he determined to make a 
brave effort to retrieve his fortunes and provide for his young 
family. The disappointment of that hope was too great a 
shock for his feeble frame ; the thought that he could no 
longer provide for his loved ones broke his heart. After an 
illness of more than three months, he died on 15 May, 1886, 
in the 68th year of his age." 

The following experience of Captain Maffitt in running the 
blockade, is told by himself: 

"In consequence of my knowledge of the Southern coast, 
1 was ordered to command one of the steamers offered to the 
government by Frazier, Trenholm & Co., of Charleston, S. 
C. She was reported to be unusually fast, and could sto-w to 
advantao'e 700 bales of cotton. With the cargo on board we 
de]Tarted from Wilmington and before sunset anchored off 
the village of Smithville (Southport). Twilight afforded an 

388 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

excellent opportunity to reconnoitre tlie enemy. They were 
numerons and assumed their stations with an air of vigilance 
that seemed to announce the channel as hermetically sealed 
for the night. The 2^1'ospect afforded no joyful anticipa- 
tions of a pleasant exit. As it was necessary to bide the 
niovements of the moon, her sluggishness in retiring for the 
night was regarded with considerable impatience. At last 
her royal majesty, over the margin of the western horizon, 
tips us a knowing wink and disappears. In silence Caswell 
is i:)assed and a dim glimpse of Fort Campbell affords a fare- 
well view (jf Dixie as the steamer's head is turned seaward 
through the channel. The swelling greetings of the Atlantic 
billows announce that the bar is passed ; over the cresting 
waves the good craft swiftly dashes as if impatient to 
promptly face her trials of the night. Through the settled 
dai'lsuess all eyes on board are peering, eagerly straining to 
:-atcli ,1 vien* of the dreaded sentinels who sternly guard the 
tabooed channel. Xothing white is exposed to view, every 
ligiil is extinguished save those that are hooded in the bin- 
nacle and engine room. Xo sound disturbs the solemn 
silence of the moment but the dismal moaning of the north- 
east wind and the unwelcome but unavoidable dashing of our 
paddles. Xiglit glasses scan the bleared horizon for a time 
in vain ; suddenly an officer with bated breath announces sev- 
eral steamers. Eagerty pointing, he reports two at anchor 
and others slowly cruising. Instantly out of the gloom and 
spoon-drift emerges the sombre phantom form of the block- 
ading fleet. The monient of trial is at hand; firmness and 
decision are essential for the emergency. Dashing between 
the two at anchor, we pass so near as to excite astonishment 
at our non-discoverj', but this resulted from the color of our 
hull, which under certain stages of the atmosphere, blended 
so perfectly with the haze as to render the steamer invisible. 
How keenly the grim hulls of the enemy are watched ! How 
taut, like harp strings, evei'y nerve is strung, anxiously vibrat- 
ing with each pulsation of the throbbing heart ! We emerged 
to windward from the two at anchor. 'Captain,' whispered 
the pilot, 'according to my chop logic, them chaps aren't 
going to squint us this blessed night I' Ere a response could 

Blockade Running. 389 

be littered, a broad spread flash of intense light blazed from 
the flag's Drummond, for in passing to windward the noise 
of onr paddles betrayed the proximity of a blockade-runner. 
'Full speed I' I shouted to the engineer. Instantly the in- 
creased revolutions responded to the order. Then came the 
roar of heavy guns, the howl of shot and scream of bursting 
shells. Around, above and through the severed rigging the 
iron demons howled as if pandemonium had discharged its 
infernal spirits into the air. Under the influence of a ter- 
rible shock, the steamer quivers with aspen vibrations. An 
explosion follows ; she is struck ! 

" 'What's the damage ?' I asked. 

" 'A shell, sir. has knocked overboard several bales of cot- 
ton and wounded two of the crew,' was the response of the 
boatswain. By the sheen of the Drummond lights the sea 
is so clearly ilhiminated as to exliibit the perils of our posi- 
tion, and show the grouping around us of the fleet as their 
batteries belched forth a hail storm of angry missiles. In 
the turmoil of excitement, a frightened passenger, contrary 
to orders, invaded the bridge. Wringing his hands in ag- 
ony, he implored me to surrender and save his life and the 
lives of all on board. Much provoked. I directed one of our 
quartermasters stationed near me to take the lubber below. 
Without ceremony, he seized the unhappy individual, and as 
he hurried him towards the cabin, menacingly exclaimed, 
'Shut up your fly trn]!, or by the poirres of Moll Kelly, I'll 
hold ye up as a target for the derision of them Yankee giin- 

"As perils multiplied our Mazeppa speed increased, and 
gradually withdrew us from the circle of danger. At last 
we distanced the party. Spontaneously the crew gave three 
hearty cheers as relief to their pent-up anxiety, and everyone 
began to breathe more naturally. This was my tenth epi- 
sode in running the blockade. During the night we were 
subjected to occasional trials of speed, to avoid suspicious 
strangers whose characters could not be determined. In 
fact, nothing in the shape of a steamer was to be trusted, as 
we entertained the belief that Confederates were Ishmaelites 
upon the broad ocean — the recipients of no man's courtesy. 

390 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

*'Day dawned upon one of the ocean's most beautiful morn- 
iiig's ; the soft, bhie sky circled the blue horizon, and over 
the broad expanse a profound calm settled upon the sleeping 
waters. It seemed difficult to realize that such serenity was 
ever tortured into the most wild and terrific commotion by 
the rude storms and hurricanes that often hold high revelry 
where now not a ruffled wave appeared or a gentle ripple 
bleared the mirrored surface. Solitary and alone we pur- 
sued our voyage, flattered with the hope that it would ter- 
minate without interruption. At 4 in the afternoon w^e were 
aroused from this felicitous reverie by the familiar cry from 
the mast-head of 'Sail hoi' 

" "Can you make her out,' was the official interrogatory. 

" 'Yes, sir; a large steamer heading for us.' Our course 
Avas immediately changed ; so was that of the stranger. When 
she Avas reported we were engaged in overhauling the engines 
and cleaning fires. Of course, our speed under these cir- 
cumstances was inconsiderable, and the steamer neared us 
without difficulty. The old flag was recognized — in former 
daj's a Avelcome l)anner — and the chase commenced. Xight 
approaches in a royal blazonry of gold and crimson, the 
sun sinks ])elow the horizon, leaving a brief twilight to 
light up the scene of contest. Some derangement of 
our engines depletes our speed, and the unpleasant knowl- 
edge causes the thermometer of hope to fall below zero. 
Perplexed and annoyed, I debated the expediency of reliev- 
ing the vessel by thro-\ving overboard a pr»rtir)n of her cargo. 
Fortunately a happy thought came into my mind. Promptly 
acting upon the mental suggestion, I sent for the chief en- 
gineer and in(j aired if he had a quantity of coal dust conven- 
ient. T have, sir.' was the response. 'Be ready in fifteen 
minutes to feed with it. and have at hand clean fuel that will 
not smoke. The order will be given in due season.' 

"In the darkness of night a chasing vessel is guided by the 
smoke of the fleeing craft. This fact was familiar from ex- 
perience, and at the proper time I availed myself of the ac- 
quired knowledge. The enemy held his own, thoiigh at 
times we thought he gained upon us. At length I directed 
the engineer to give a libei-al application of coal dust, and in- 

Blockade Running. 391 

stantly dense volumes of sooty vapor rolled out of the fun- 
nels and traveled on the bosom of the northeast winds to the 
southward and westward. By the aid of good glasses we 
were charmed to observe that the bait had been swallowed^ 
as the Federals steadily pursued our bank of smoke. When 
this became obvious, clean coal was applied that emitted no 
tell-tale evidence of our position. The course was changed 
to the northward, and our juirsuer left to capture the Confed- 
erate shadow. This successful ruse excited much hilarity 
and considerable laughter over what was considered a 'cute 
trick.' At sunrise, entering the friendly port of jSTassau we 
were warmly greeted by many friends — by none more vocif- 
erously than the sons of Africa. The cargo was promptly 
landed, ajiJ [he return freight received on board. * * * 
"We are ready to depart ; friends bid us farewell with 
lugubrious indulgence of fears for our safety, as the hazards 
of bbx'kade-running had recently increased in consequence 
of the accumulated force and vigilance of the enemy. Dis- 
regarding gloomy prognostications, at dusk we left the har- 
bor. Before break of day Abaco light was sighted, a place 
of special interest to Federal cruisers as the turning point of 
blockade-runners. At the first blush of day we were startled 
by the close proximity of three American men-of-war. I^ot 
the least obeisance made they, but with shot and shell paid 
the early compliments of the morning. The s])lintering 
spars and damaged bulwarks warned us of the necessity for 
traveling, particularly as 000 barrels of gunpowder consti- 
tuted a portion of our cargo. A chance shell ex]iloding in 
the hold, Avould have consigned steamer and all hands to 
tophet. We were in capital running condition and soon 
passed out of range. Tenaciously our pursuers held on to 
the chase, though it was evident tliat tlie fleet Confederate 
experienced no diflieulty in giving them the go by. In the 
zenith of our enjoyment of a refreshing sense of relief the old 
cry of 'Sail ho!' came from aloft. The lookout announced 
two steamers ahead and standing for us. A system of zig- 
zag running became necessary to elude the persistent enemy. 
Our speed soon accomplished the object. In about three 
hours the Federals faded under the horizon, and our proper 

392 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

course for the Cape Fear was resumed. Those who needed 
repose retired for the indulgence. My relaxation from of- 
ficial cares was of brief duration, as a gruff voice called out: 
'Captain, a bui'ning vessel reported aloft, sir !' Repairing 
on deck, bv the aid of a spy glass, I could distinctly see some 
four miles ahead a vessel enveloped in smoke. Though not 
ourselves the suljjects of charity, nevertheless we were human 
and as seamen, cherished the liveliest sympathy for the un- 
fortunate who came to grief on God's watery highway. Re- 
gardless of personal interest, your true Jack Tar scorns the 
role of Pharisee and prides himself upon the Samaritan pro- 
clivities that fail not to succor the sufferer by the wayside. 
Increasing our speed, we ran quite near to the burning vessel. 
She proved to be a Spanish barque, with ensign at half-mast. 
Out of her fore hatch arose a dense smoke. Aloft were clus- 
tered a panic-stricken group of passengers and crew. Among 
them several ladies were observed. An ineffectual effort had 
been made to hoist out the long boat, which was still sus- 
peuded by the yard and stay tackles. Sending an officer 
aloft to keep a sharj) lookout, that we might not be surprised 
by the enemy while succoring the unfortunate, the chief mate 
was dispatched in the cutter to render such assistance as his 
professional intelligence might suggest. He found the few 
passengers, among whom were four ladies, much calmer than 
the officers and crew ; the latter, instead of endeavoring to 
extinguish the fire, which had broken out in the forecastle 
cojiiparfment. wore confusedly hauling upon the stay tackle 
in a vain effort to launch the long boat. Our mate, with his 
boat's crew, ]")assed the jabbering, panic-stricken Spaniards, 
and ]U'oceeded at once to the forecastle, which he instantly de- 
luged with water, and to the astonishment of all hands, speed- 
ily subdued the trifling conflagration, which proved to have 
resulted from the burning of a quantity of lauip rags that 
had probably been set on fire by one of the crew, who had 
carelessly emptied his ]npe when about to repair on deck. 
The quantity of old duds that lay scattered aljout Jack's 
luxuriously furnished apartment supplied abundant mate- 
rial for raising a dense smoke, but the rough construction of 
the vessel iu this locality fortunately offered nothino- inflam- 

Blockade Running. 393 

naable and the i^reat sensation, under the influence of a cool 
head, soon subsided into a farce. The mate, who was much 
of a wag, enjoyed the general perturbation of the passengers, 
particularly on ascertaining that three of the ladies hailed 
from Marblehead, and were returning from a visit made to 
an uncle who owned a well stocked sugar plantation near 
Sagua LaGrande, in Cuba. A Spanish vessel bound to Hali- 
fax had been selected to convey them to a British port conven- 
ient for transportation to iSTew York or Boston without risk 
of being captured by Confederate 'buccaneers,' who, ac- 
cording to Culian rumors, 'swarmed over the ocean and were 
decidedly anthropophagous in their proclivities.' 

"A hail from the steamer caused the mate to make his 
adieu, but not bef«u-e announcing himself as one of the awful 
Southern slave-holders they had in conversation anathema- 
tized. They could not believe that so kind and polite a gen- 
tleman could possibly be a wicked 'rebel.' 'But I am, ladies, 
and also a slave-holder, as is your uncle ; farewell !' Instead 
of manifesting anger at the retort, they laughed heartily and 
waved their handkerchiefs in kind adieu, utterly unsuspi- 
cious of having received kindness and courtesy from a block- 
ade-runner. We made the best of speed on our way to Wil- 
mington. The following day, our last at sea, proved undis- 
turbed and pleasant. x\t sunset the bar bore west-northwest 
70 miles distant. It would be high water at 11 :30, the 
proper time for crossing. Sixty miles I determined to dash 
off at full speed, and then run slowly for disentangling our- 
selves from the fleet. 

"None but the experienced can a]')preciate the difficulties 
that ]ierplexed the navigators in running for Southern har- 
bors during the war. The usual facilities rendered by light 
houses and beacons had ceased to exist, having been dispensed 
with In- the Confederate government as dangerous abettors of 
contemplated miscliief by the blockaders. Success in making 
the destined harbors de]')ended upon exact navigation, a 
knowledge of the coast, its surroundings and currents, a fear- 
less a]iproach, and banishment of the subtle society of John 
Barleycorn. Non-experts too often came to grief, as the 
many hulks on the Carolina coast attest. Under a pressure 

394 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'6o. 

of steam we rushed ahead, annihilating space and melting 
with excited fancy hours into minutes. Our celerity short- 
ens the distance, leaving only ten miles between us and the 
bar. With guiding lead, slowly and carefully we feel our 
way. 'Captain,' observed the sedulous chief officer, as he 
strove to peer through the hazy atmosphere, 'it seems to me 
from our soundings that we should be very near the blockad- 
ers. Don't you think so ?' 'I do,' was my response. 'Hist! 
there goes a bell — one, two, three, four, five, six, seven — 
ll:.")!), a decidedly good calculation, and it is high w^ater on 
the bar. By jove ! there are two just ahead of us, and I 
think both are at anchor. Doubtless others are cruising 
around there, indicators of the channel.' 

''I ordered the helm put hard a-starboard, directing the 
wheelman to run between the two blockaders, as it is too late 
to steer clear of either. Through a bank of clouds huge, 
grim objects grew distinctly into view and necessity forced 
me to run the gauntlet, trusting against hope that our transit 
would not arouse their vigilance. They were alert vessels, 
for a crackling, hissing sound was instantly followed by the 
fiery train of a rocket, succeeded by the dreaded calcium 
lights with a radiance brilliant though brief, so as to illumi- 
nate distinctly an area of miles. 

'' 'Heave to, or I'll sink you !' shouted a gruff, imperious 
voice, so near that we could fancy his speaking trumpet pro- 
jected over the steamer. 'Ay, ay, sir !' was the prompt re- 
sponse, and to the horror of all on board I gave the order in 
a loud voice, 'Stop the engine I' '^hen was heard the boat- 
swain's whistle, the cutting away of cutters and the tramp- 
ing of boats' crews. Our impetus had caused the steamer 
to nearly emerge from between the Federals. Back 
your engines, sir, and stand by to receive my boats,' said the 
same stern voice. Affirmatively acknowledging the com- 
mand, I whis]")ered loud enough for the engineer to hear me, 
'Full speed ahead, sir, and o]ien wide your throttle valve.' 

"The movements of the paddles for a moment deceived the 
Federal commander into the belief that we were really back- 
ing, but, speedily comprehending the manoeuver, with very 
fierce execrations, he a'ave the order to fire. Drummond 

Blockade Running. 395 

lights were burned, doubtless to aid artillerists, but so radia- 
ted the mist as to raise our hull above the line of vision, caus- 
ing the destructive missiles to play havoc with the sparse 
rigging instead of shattering our hull and probably explod- 
ing the nine hundred barrels of gunpowder, with which Gen- 
eral Johnston afterwards fought the battle of Shiloh. It cer- 
tainly was a miraculous escape for both blockader and block- 

''We paused not recklessly, but at the rate of sixteen knots 
an hour absolutely flew out of unhealthy company who dis- 
courteously followed us with exploding shells, and for some 
time kept up such a fusillade as to impress us with the belief 
that the l)lockaders had inaugurated a 'Kilkenny Cat Mud- 
dle,' and were polishing off each other, a supposition whif^h I 
subsequently learned was partially correct. 

"The breakers warned us of danger, and the smooth water 
indicated the channel tlirough which we passed in safety, and 
at 1 o'clock in the morning we anchored off the venerable vih 
lage of Smirhville (uoav Soutli]")ort). Then came the men- 
tal and physical reaction, producing a feeling of great pros- 
tration, relieved by the delightful realization of having 
passed througli the fiery ordeal in safety and freedom. 

" 'If after every tempest came such calms, 

May the winds blow 'till they have weakened death ; 
And let laboring barks climb hill of seas 
Olympus high ! and duck again as low 
As hell's from heaven.' 

"After sunrise we proceeded to Wilmington, where our 
cargo was quickly discharged. Having obtained our return 
cargo, in company with two other blockade-runners I started 
for Xassau : and although the sentinels of the bar i /resented 
me with affectionate souvenirs in the way of shot and shell, 
Thov did but little damage. My companions came to grief, 
thertby adding to the prize fund that was shared by iho gov- 
ernment with the officers of the blockade squadron." 

Shortly after joining the Confederacy, Captain Maffitt 
went to England, took conmiand of the blockade-runner 
Lilian, of wliich this compiler was purser, and returned to 
the Confederacy through the ]iort of Wilmington. He was 

396 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

then ordered to relieve Captain Cooke at Plymouth, IST. C, 
from the command of the Albemarle, which had been so won- 
derfully constructed and handled by Captain Cooke in the 
attack on the 8outh/ield and Miami. From this duty Cap- 
tain MafRtt was soon relieved and ordered to the command of 
the Oivl, one of the blockade-runners purchased by the Gov- 
ernment in England. The 21st of December, 1864, found 
him on board the Oicl, at Wilmington, receiving her cargo of 
750 bales of cotton. With three other blockade-runners in 
company, he started for the bar. He escaped the Federal 
sentinels ''without the loss of a rope yarn," though one of his 
companions came to grief through an accident to her machin- 
ery. Their destination was St. George's, Bermuda, which 
they reached in safety and found several steamers loaded and 
anxiously awaiting news from the Federal expedition under 
General Butler against Fort Fisher. A Halifax steamer 
brought in the ISTorthern papers which apprised them of the 
failure of the expedition ; and in company with six other 
steamers and many gallant spirits the Otrl started on her re- 
turn to Dixie, much clieered by the joyful news. In the 
meantime another expedition, fitted out under General Terry 
and Admiral Porter, had been successful, and the river was 
in possession of the Federals. In communication with Lock- 
wood's Folly, all was reported quiet and Fisher still intact. 
Captain Maffitt steamed for the Cape Fear. At 8 o'clock it 
was high water on the bar and the moon would not rise before 
11. Approaching the channel he was surprised to see but 
one sentinel guarding the entrance. Eluding him, he 
passed in. 

Some apprehension was excited by a conflagration at Bald 
Head and non-response to his signals ; but, as Fort Caswell 
looked quiet and natural, he decided to anchor off the fort 
wharf. He was immediately interviewed by the chief of 
ordnance and artillery, E. S. Martin, and another officer, 
who informed him of the state of affairs, and that the train 
was already laid for blowing up Fort Caswell. Gun-boats 
were approaching, and in great distress Captain Maffitt hast- 
ily departed. The solitary blockader pursued him furiously 
for some time, and far out at sea he heard the explosion that 

Blockade Running. 397 

announced the fate of Caswell. As his cargo was important 
and much needed, Captain Maffitt determined to make an 
effort to enter the port of Charleston, although he had been 
informed that it was more closely guarded than ever before. 

TJie rest of the story is told in Captain Maffiitt's inimita- 
ble style : 

"The history of the five steamers, in whose company I 
sailed from the harbor of St. George's, is briefly told. 

"Captain Wilkinson, the late gallant commander of the 
Chichamaugn , was too experienced and keen a cruiser to be 
caught in a trap. Convinced from observation that there 
was 'something rotten in the state of Denmark,' he judi- 
ciously returned to Bermuda. The remaining three were 
decoyed into ]^ew Inlet by the continuance of Mound light, 
and became easy prey under the following circumstances. 
First, the Stag, with several English officers on board as pas- 
sengers, deceived by Admiral Porter's cuteness, crossed the 
bar, and, as was customary, anchored under the mound, then 
to abide the usual visit of inspection from the boarding of- 
ficer of Fort Fisher. Waiting for some time without re- 
ceiving the official call, the captain naturally concluded it had 
been deferred until daylight. Tie therefore directed the 
steward to serve the entertainment that had been elaborately 
prepared to celebrate their safe arrival in the Confederacy. 
The gastronomic hidalgo flourished his baton of office, and es- 
corted his guests to the festive board. In shouts of revelry 
and with floAving bumpers, the jocund party huzzahed for 
Dixie, and sang her praises in songs of adulation that made 
the welkin ring, and aroused the seamen from their peaceful 
slumber. A pause from exhaustion having occurred in their 
labor of justice to the luxurious repast gave to an English 
captain a desired opportunity to ventilate in appropriate sen- 
timents his appreciation of the joyful occasion. Mysteri- 
ously rapping to enjoin attention, in the silence that folloAved, 
he solemnly arose. At a wave of his dexter, the steward, all 
alertness, replenished the glasses. 

" 'Gentlemen,' said the captain, 'after a successful voyage, 
fraught with interesting incidents and excitements, we have 
anchored upon the soil of battleworn, grand old Dixie. We 

398 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

come not as mercenary adventurers to enlist under the ban- 
ner of the Confederacy, but like true knights errant to join 
as honorable volunteers the standard of the bravest lance in 
Christendom, that of the noble, peerless Lee. (Cheers — 
'hear hear!') In gaining this Palestine of our chivalrous 
as]u rations, we have successfully encountered the more than 
ordinary ]:)erils of the sea in storm, the lingering chase, and 
hazards of the blockade. Through all vicissitudes there was 
a mind to conceive, a hand to guide, a courage to execute. 
Gentlemen, I propose the health, happiness, and speedy pro- 
motion of the officer who merits these commendations — our 
worthy commander.' 

"Mingled with vociferous applause came the customary 
hi]! ! hip ! liuzzah ! hip ! hip ! huz- 

"The half uttered huzzali froze like an icicle on the petri- 
fied li]3s of the orator, who — 

" 'With wild surprise, 

As if to marble struck, devoid of sense, 
A stupid moment, motionless stood ' 

as the apparition of a Federal midshipman appeared upon 
the cabin stairway. 

'''Who commands this steamer?' w^as the Federal's in- 

" 'I am that unhappy individual,' groaned the commander 
as reminiscences of a long confinement came painfully to his 

" 'You are a prize to Admiral Porter's squadron, and I 
relieve you from all further responsibility. Gentlemen, as 
paioled prisoners, you are at leisure to finish your repast.' 

"The withering enunciation of capture blighted like a 
black frost the hopeful blossoms that had under the inspir- 
ing influence of the sparkling Epernay, bubbled into poetic 
existence. One by one the lights soon faded in this banquet 
hall deserted, their last glimmer falling mournfully on the 
debris of the unfinished congratulatory repast. Ere an hour 
ela])sed two more unfortunates, lured by the channel lights, 
entered and likewise anchored off the mound, and became a 
prey to Admiral Porter's fleet. 

"My cargo being important and the capture of Fort Fisher 

Blockade Running. 399 

and Cape Fear cutting me off from Wilmington, I deemed it 
my duty to make an effort to enter the harbor of Charleston 
in order to deliver the mnch needed supplies. I had been 
informed that the blockade of that port was more stringently 
and numerically guarded than ever before since the begin- 
ning of hostilities. The Oirl's speed was more acconmiodated 
to the necessary time of arriving oif the bar, which was 10 p. 
m. Throughout the day vigilant steamers were seen along 
the shore inspecting inlets and coves regardless of their want 
of capacity for blockade purposes. This spirit of inspection 
and watchfulness was most assiduous, as if an order had been 
issued to overhaul even the coast gallinip]iers to see that aid 
and comfort in the shape of muskets and pistols were not 
smuggled into the needy Confederacy. Ocasionally one of 
these constables of the sea would fire up and make a dash 
after the Owl; a little more coal and stirring up of the fire 
draft was sufficient to start the blockade-runner off with such 
admirable speed as to convince the Federal that he was after 
the fleetest steamer that ever eluded the guardians of the 

"Seasonably making the })assage, 9 o'clock p. m., found us 
not far from the mouth of Maffitt's Channel. Anticipating 
a trying night and the bare possibility of capture, two bags 
were slung and sus]^ended over the quarter by a stout line. 
In these bags were placed the government mail not yet deliv- 
ered, all private correspondence, and my Avar journal, in- 
cluding the cruise of the Florida, besides many other papers. 
An intelligent quartermaster was ordered to stand by the bags 
with a hatchet, and the moment capture became inevitable, 
to cut adrift and let them sink. 

"When on the western tail end of Rattlesnake Shoal, we 
encountered streaks of mist and fog that enveloped stars and 
everything for a few moments when it would become quite 
clear again. Running cautiously in one of these obscura- 
tions, a sudden light in the haze disclosed that we were about 
to run into an anchored blockader. We had bare room with 
a hard-a-port helm to avoid him some fifteen or twenty feet, 
when their officer on deck called out, 'Heave to, or I'll sink 
you !' The order was unnoticed and we received his entire 

400 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

broadside, that cut away turtle back, perforated forecastle 
and tore up bulwarks in front of our engine room, wounding 
twelve men, some severely, some slightly. 

"The quartermaster stationed by the mail bags was so 
convinced that we were captured that he instantly used his 
hatchet, and sent them well-moored to the bottom ; hence my 
meagre account of the cruise of the Florida. Rockets were 
fired as we passed quickly out of his range of sight, and 
Urummond lights lit up the animated surroundings of a 
swarm of blockaders, which commenced an indiscriminate 
discharge of artillery. We could not understand the reason 
of this bombardment, and, as we picked our way out of the 
mc'lop, concluded that several blockade-runners must have 
been discovered feeling their way into Charleston. 

'■.After tlie Avar, in conversing with the officer commanding 
on rlial occasion, he said that a number of the steamers of the 
blockade were commanded by inexperienced volunteer of- 
ficers, who were sometimes overzealous and excitable, and 
heaiino- the gun-boat firing into me, and seeing her rockets 
and signal lights, they thought that innumerable blockade- 
runners were forcing a passage into the harbor ; hence the in- 
discriminate discharge of artillery which was attended with 
unfortunate result to them. This was my last belligerent as- 
sociation with blockade-running. Entering the harbor of 
Galveston and finding it in the possession of Federals, I 
promptly checked progress and retreated. The last order 
issued by the Xavy Department when all hope for the cause 
had departed, was for me to deliver the Owl to Frazier, Tren- 
holm 8z Co., in Liverpool; which I accordingly did." 

GEO. c. m'dougal, a remarkabt.e blockade-runner. 

The most successful blockade runner of the four years' 
war, the man who began at the beginning as chief engineer 
of tlie first steamer, and ended his career in the same capac- 
ity at the termination of the Confederacy^, is one of the quiet- 
est, most unobtrusive persons who walks the streets of Wil- 
mington. A stranger interested in the heroic stories of the 
war, would never single him out as a fearless, intrepid en- 
gineer, who bore the highest record of sixty-five successful 

Blockade Running. 401 

voyages through the blockade, and who was only once captured 
during his four years' service at sea, but would more likely 
suppose him to be the owner of a timber raft or a well-to-do 
farmer who had come to see about the chances of a rise in 
cotton. He might talk to him all day and never be the wiser, 
for this modest man, Mr. George C. McDougal, is not given 
to stories of his own exploits, and is only known to those who 
a])preciate his sterling wurth and who have the privilege of 
his friendship. 

At the close of the war, Mr. McDougal retired to Rosin- 
dale, on the Carolina Central Railroad, where he engaged in 
turpentine distilling and in general merchandise for ten or 
fifteen years until the business becoming unprofitable, he 
gave it up. His product in spirits turpentine and rosin were 
so carefully prepared and handled that the mark "G. C. 
McD." became a favorite brand, especially in Baltimore, to 
which point many thousands of his barrels were shipped from 
Wilmington. Strictly honorable in all his dealings, accu- 
rate and painstaking in every detail, his name in trade as in 
his profession "goes" everywhere he is. known without ques- 
tion. He still retains his residence in Wilmington and 
spends a part of his time near the scene of his blockade-run- 
ning exploits. 

He began his professional life as chief engineer of one of 
the steamers plying between Wilmington and Charleston be- 
fore the building of the railroads, and at the outbreak of the 
war was selected as chief engineer of the Confederate steamer 
Gordon, l\y her well-known commander, Captain Thomas J. 
T.ockwood, his brother-in-law. Lockwood was one of the 
most capable blockade runners of the war, and as long as he 
bad the benefit of Mr. McHougal's superior mechanical skill 
and quick judgment, was very successful. They were to- 
gether in the Gordon, the Kate, the tJlizabetli, and in several 
other boats subsequently, and when Lockwood went abroad 
to take command of his splendid new steamer, the Colonel 
Lamb, McDougal was made chief engineer of the little 
Sirene, which proved to be the most successful blockade-run- 
ner of the war, because the Mascot went with her. If they 
made a landfall on the darkest night and McDougal ascer- 

402 North Caroijna Troops, 1861 -'65. 

tained the bearings within a hnndred miles of Cape Fear 
bar, ]ie could tell by his revolutions and by the scraping of 
the ship's bottom on the lumps usually fonned near the coast 
inlets all the way up or down, the exact position of his 
steamer from hour to lioiir until the goal was reached. His 
thorough knowledge of the coast, his coolness under fire and 
his never failing good judgment extricated the Sirene from 
many tight places when the captain was at his wit's end. 

On one occasion in the Kate, I.ockwood had run inside the 
line of blockaders at the main bar some distance up the 
beach, and stiddenly took the ground while jammed between 
an anchored man-of-war and the breakers. The blockader 
did not see him, although so near that no one on board the 
Kate was permitted to speak above a whisper. The tide was 
near the last of the ebb and there were only a few hours of 
darkness in which to work. jMcDougal, always ready for an 
emergency, had promptly loaded the safety valve down witli m 
bag of iron castings to prevent any noise from escaping 
steam, and when it became absolutely necessary the steam was 
blown off very gently under the water. The boats were low- 
ered noiselessly and several passengers and a lot of valuables 
landed in the surf on the lee side of the vessel with orders to 
proceed to Fort Caswell in the distance. At first it seemed 
im])ossible to save the ship as any noise from her paddles 
would inevitably have led to her destruction by the block- 
ad ei's, which were seen plainly only a cable's length from the 
Kate's ])erilous ]iositioii. Lockwood held a consultation with 
his trusted engineer, and decided to open the gangway and 
quietly slide overboard a lot of lead wire in heavy coils, 
which was ]»art of the in^\'ard cargo, and which was intended 
to 1)0 cut into bullets by the Confederate Government. This 
served to lighten the ship and also as an effectual bulkhead 
which prevented the vessel from working higher up on the 
beach when the tide turned, and the discharge went on for 
some time without ap]iarent effect ; but the rising tide soon 
after began to bump the bilges of the vessel against the sand 
bank inside. Lockwood proposed an attempt to back clear 
or to beach her at once, but the ''Boss," as McDougal was 
called, cahnlv showed him that unless thev were sure of float- 

Blockade Running. 403 

ing clear on the lirst attempt they woiikl never be permitted 
to make a second trial, as the paddles would surely betray 
them to the Heet. .Vnother hfteen minutes that seemed an 
hour of suspense, and the captain again urged immediate 
action, but the im})erturbable engineer said: "Wait a little 
longer, Oakie ; she is rising every minute; let us be sure of 
getting off before we make the eli'ort." Meantime the bimip- 
ing increased and at last with everytliing in readiness and a 
full head of steam, the engines were reversed full speed, and 
the Kate quickly afloat and responding to the wheel, gallantly 
passed tlie Ijlockading fleet in the gray dawn and shortly af- 
terwards anchored under the guns of Fort CasAvell. She had 
hardly swung to the anchor before she was seen l)y the disap- 
pointed blockaders who sent shell after shell flying after her, 
bursting in such uncomfortable proximity, that the Kate was 
moved up to Mrs. Stuart's wharf at Smithville, where the 
shell and solid shot still followed them, many passing in a 
line more than a thousand yards beyond the wharf. With 
the aid of a good glass a man could be seen in the foretop of 
the Federal flagship with a liag in his hand which he waved 
to right or left as he saw the effect of the firing ; this enabled 
the gunners to better their aim until the shells struck just 
astern of the Kate or passed in a line ahead of the vessel. 
On a closer approach of the fleet they were driven off by 
Fort Caswell's lieaviest guns. The Kate and her crew were 
in great peril on this occasion, owing to the fact that there 
Avere a thousand barrels of gun]')owder on board for the Con- 
federacy, making the risk from the shells extremely hazard- 
ous. Mr. McDougal said to me on this occasion that when 
the Yankees began shelling them at Fort Caswell, a detach- 
ment of soldiers was being embarked for Wilmington on the 
Confederate transport, James T. Petteivay, and that when 
the first shell struck the beach near the Petteivay, the whole 
company broke ranks and ran like rabbits for the fort again. 

Some time ago the Wilmington Daily Review published 
an account of the recovery of a large lot of lead wire from 
the bottom of the sea near Fort Caswell. This was doubt- 
less part of the Kate's cargo thrown overboard as described. 

On one occasion the Sirene nearly fell into a trap, but was 

404 North Carolina Troops, 18G1-'65. 

saved by the cool judgment and remarkable skill of her pilot, 
John Hill. Captain Ryan had anchored during the day at 
Smithville, in full view of the blockading* fleet, intending to 
run oat after dark. At sunset the squadron concentrated 
around the western bar, leaving only one guard ship at the 
main bar, and the Sirene was accordingly run that night for 
the apparently unguarded channel. She had scarcely crossed 
the main bar, however, before she ran into a blockader, evad- 
ing which she ran afoul of another, then a third, fourth and 
fifth. The sea was alive with cruisers. At that moment the 
ship was slowed down and Hill said to McDougal : "What 
do you think of this, boss ?" to which he immediately re- 
plied: '"They have played us a Yankee trick, John, by 
making a show of force at the western bar before nightfall, 
and after dark concentrating at main bar to receive us with 
open arms. Our only chance is to get back inside and race 
for the western bar." It was a difficult undertaking to get 
the ship round again, requiring the most delicate handling, 
surrounded as she was with a hostile fleet, but Hill was equal 
to it, and evading each blockader, with his master hand on 
the wheel, brought her slowly back inside again without a 
shot being fired. Then the race for life began. "Now, let 
her go!" said he. McDougal was down in the engine room 
on the instant where Barbot, first assistant, was on duty. 
"Have you plenty of water in the boilers ?" ''Aye, aye, sir." 
"Then off with your pumps, down with the damper, shut the 
flue caps, prick out the fires, and give her the throttle as fast 
as steam rises I" In a few minutes the engines were driving 
furiously. Niemeyer, the second assistant, said they A\'ero 
trying to see which could get over the bow first. The little 
ship went flying past Fort Caswell, and ignoring the slue, 
drove straight over the western bar with not a blockader in 
sight ! There were others not so fortunate, how^ever, as 
several captures were made by this ruse of the Federal fleet 
until it became generally known, and even then the blockade- 
runners were puzzled because the changes of the fleet were 
irreffular and alwavs uncertain. 

Blockade Running. 405 

the confederate states signal corps frederick w. 

gregory.. a successful operator. 

The Coiifederate States Signal Corps frequently rendered 
some very efficient service to the blockade runners after they 
had succeeded in getting between the blockaders and the 
beach, where they were also in danger of the shore batteries 
until their character became known at the forts. As the sig- 
nal system developed, a detailed member was sent out with 
every ship, and so important did this service become that 
signal officers, as they were called, were occasionally applied 
for by owners or captains of steamers in the Clyde or at Liv- 
erpool, before sailing for Bermuda or Nassau to engage in 
running the blockade. The first attempt to communicate 
with the shore batteries was a failure, and consequently the 
service suffered some reproach for a while, but subsequent 
practice with intelligent, cool-headed men resulted in com- 
plete success, and some valuable ships, with still more valua- 
ble cargoes, were saved from capture or destruction by the in- 
tervention of the signal service, when owing to the darkness 
and bad landfall, the ca]itain and pilot were alike unable to 
recognize their geographical position. 

To ]\Ir. Frederick W. Gregory, of Crowells, X. C, belongs 
the honor of the first success as a signal operator in this ser- 
vice. Identified with the corps from the beginning of the 
blockade, and with the Cape Fear, at Price's Creek station, 
which was for a long time in his efficient charge, he brought 
to this new and novel duty an experience and efficiency 
equalled by few of his colleagues and surpassed by none. It 
was well said of him that he was always ready and never 
afraid, two elements of the almost unvarying success which 
attended the shi])s to Avhich he was subsequently assigned. 
It was my good fortune to be intimately associated with Mr. 
Gregory for nearly two years during which we had many 
ups and downs together as shipmates aboard and as com]ian- 
ions ashore. He Avas of the few young men engaged in 
blockade-running who successfully resisted the evil influences 
and depraved associations with which we were continually 
surrounded. Unselfish and honorable in all his relations 
with his fellows, courageous as a lion in time of danger, he 

406 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

was an honor to his State and to the cause which he so worth- 
ily represented. During a recent visit to Wilmington, after 
an interval of nearly thirty years, Mr. Gregory gave me the 
following TiarrativCj which will doubtless prove of interest. 

''Sometime early in 1863, the Confederate Government 
purchased on the Clyde (I think) two steamers for the pur- 
pose of running the blockade. The first to arrive was the 
Giraffe. While in the Cape Fear, Captain Alexander, who 
had charge of the signal corps at Smithville, suggested the 
propriety of putting a signal officer aboard to facilitate the 
ship's entering the port at night, by the use of two lights, a 
red and a white, covered with a shade in front of the globe to 
lift up and down, by which we could send messages as we did 
with the flag on land in the day, and with a torch at night; 
the red light representing the wave to the right and the white 
light the wave to the left. After some consultation, General 
Whiting ordered Captain Alexander to send up a signal officer 
to join the Giraffe, and Tlobert Herring was detailed for that 
purpose and sent to Wilmington, where the lights were pre- 
pared and he went aboard. The Giraffe went out and re- 
turned successfully, luit from some cause — I never under- 
stood why — Herring failed to attract the attention of the 
land force and sent no message ashore. In the meantime, 
the other steamer, the Cornubia, arrived in port, and Cap- 
tain Alexander having been ordered elsewhere and Lieuten- 
ant Doggett having l)een sent down from Uichmond to take 
charge of the signal corps. General Whiting ordered a sigtial 
officer to the Cornuhia, and I was detailed and sent to Wib 
mington to prepare the lights and report on board. 

^'Wo cleared the bar successfully, with Captain Burroughs 
in command and C. C. Morse as pilot, and had a good voyage 
to St. George's, Bermuda, where we unloaded our cargo of 
cotton and reloaded with supplies for the Southern army. 
On our return trip we made the land fifty or sixty miles above 
Fort Fisher, and coasted down to the inlet, our intention 
being to get near the land inside the blockade fleet, which 
was obliged to keep off a certain distance on account of shoal 
water. As ■well as T remend^er, when within fifteen or twenty 
miles of Fort Fisher, Captain Burroughs sent for me to 

Blockade Running, 407 

come on the bridge, and asked if I had mv lights ready and 
if I thought I could send a message ashore, Pilot Morse in 
the meantime telling me that he would let me know when we 
were opposite the signal station on land, where a constant 
Avatcli was kept all night for our signal. We had not gone 
far before Morse told me that we were opposite the post. 
We were feeling our way very slowly in the dark. I was put 
down on the deck with the gangway open, my lights facing 
the land and a screen behind, when I was ordered to call the 
station. The officers and sailors were highly interested in 
the movement and crow^ded around to watch the proceedings. 
I called but a few times, when I was answered from the shore 
by a torch. 1 turned to Captain Burroughs and told him 
that f had the attention of the land forces and asked what 
message he wished to send. He replied as follows : 'Colonel 
Lamb: Steamer Cornubia. Protect me. Burroughs.' I got 
the O. K. for the message from shore, and saw the corps on 
land call up one station after another and transmit my mes- 
sage to Fort Pisher miles ahead of us, and afterwards learned 
that General Whiting was notified by telegraph of the arrival 
of the Connibia before she crossed the bar that niirlit. When 
we arrived at the fort, we found Colonel Lamb down on the 
point with his Whitworth guns ready to protect us if neces- 
sary. The success of this attem])t gave an imj'tetus to the sig- 
nal corps, and from that time every steamer that arrived ap- 
plied to the Government for a signal officer befdre leaving 

The name of the Covmihla was subsequently chanii'ed to 
Lady Davis, in honor of the wife of President Davis, at 
Pichmond, and Captain Gale, an officer in the old navy who 
had gone over to the Confederacy, was placed in command. 
"About 20 December, 1863," Mr. Gregory adds, 'Sve left 
Bermuda with a cargo for Wilmin2;ton, in charge of Captain 
Gale, with Mr. Pobert Grissoni as \)\\o\ and myself as signal 
officer. We made land some miles above Wilmington, ap- 
parently through bad navigation, almost as far north as Cape 
Lookout, and when opposite Masonboro, in coasting down, 
we observed rockets going up behind us and not long after, 
they were going up directly ahead of us. We were running 

408 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

at full S2:)eed when to our consternation rockets appeared 
quite near abreast of us ; in fact we were, apparently, sur- 
rounded by cruisers. There was a hurried consultation on 
the l)ridge. I was at my post with my lights waiting to be 
called when the order was given to head for the beach and 
drive the ship high and dry. The blockaders were then can- 
nonading us very heavily. When our good old ship struck 
the beach she ploughed up the sand for a considerable dis- 
tance, and keeled over on her side. The boats were lowered 
and every man was told to look out for himself, which I as- 
sure you we lost no time in doing, as we had scarcely left 
the ship before the enemy were boarding her from the oppo- 
site side and firing briskly with small arms. They followed 
us to the beach, and kept up a heavy fire from cannon and 
small arms for an hour. We dodged about in the bulrushes 
as best we could and made our way towards the fort. Cap- 
tain Gliomas, acting chief officer, took ashore with him two 
fine chronometers, and selected me to carry one for him, but 
after Ideating ai-ound with them in the rushes for an hour or 
so, we became exhausted and had to throw them away. I 
have no doubt they are still lying in the rushes on the beach. 
We at last met a company of soldiers who protected and es- 
corted us to the Sound. We forded the Sound and remained 
all night, and we were sent to Wilmington next day, overland, 
by mule teams. I always thought that it was a shame for the 
Lady Davis to be lost, having no doubt we could have put to 
sea and escaped on the occasion referred to, although I was 
not informed as to the supply of coal on board. Captain Gale 
had been very sick the day before and was too feeble to leave 
the ship, so remained on board and was captured and taken 
to Fort Warren. 

"The United States steamer James Adger, commanded by 
Ca])tain James Foster, of Bloomington, Ind., had the good 
fortune to ca])ture our ship and hauled her off as a prize. 
Strangely enough, Ca]')tain Foster was an intimate friend 
of the lady whom I aftervrards married in his native town, 
and he frequently related the incident referred to, thinking 
it a great joke that he forced her husband to take to the 

Blockade Running. 409 

"After reaching Wilmington and supplying myself with 
clothing and a hat, having lost mine in the rush for the shore, 
T immediately went on board the steamer Flora, with Cap- 
tain Horner, and made a successful run to Bermuda. The 
Flora was considered too slow and sent back to England. I 
then joined the Index, commanded by Captain Marshall, and 
made several successful voyages on her, but she, too, was con- 
demned as too slow and was returned to Glasgow. I had 
a thrilling adventure on this ship on a homeward voyage, 
when for the first time in all my experience we made land 
opposite Bald Head light on Frying Pan Shoals. As we 
were coming around to ]\'ew Inlet ^ve fell in with a Federal 
cruiser who was so close when we discovered her that we 
could easily discern the mano3uvers of her men on deck. She 
seemed to have anchors weighed and was moving about and 
could have easily ca]itured us, so we were at a loss to under- 
stand why she did not fire into us. Some of our people de- 
cided that she wished to secure us as a prize without injury, 
as she steamed alongside of us for four miles, and all at once 
put lier helm hard down and went close under our stern, at- 
tempting to go between us and the shoals. I remember the 
remark of our pilot, Tom Grissom, to Cai)tain ^larshall: 'If 
she follows us on that course. I will wreck her before we 
reach the inlet.' The cruiser had only steamed half a mile 
or so, when she suddenly passed from view, and in a few 
moments a rocket went up near where we last saw her, which 
was repeated at short intervals. After a few minutes rock- 
ets could be seen going up from the whole squadron, and 
there was evidently a great commotion among them on ac- 
count of our pursuer who seemed suddenly to have gotten 
into serious trouble. We jiassed through the inlet without 
further molestation, as the entire fleet had centered their at- 
tention upon their unfortunate cruiser which had so suddenly 
gone down. When morning dawned, it revealed the Federal 
cruiser hard and fast on the reef with the other vessels of the 
squadron working manfully to relieve her. Colonel Lamb 
went down to the extreme point with his ^^^litworth gims and 
opened fire upon her. A month or so afterwards, while in 
Bermuda, I saw a spirited sketch of the whole affair in Frank 

410 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

Leslie's Illustroted Neivs, giving an account of the wreck and 
of an investigation of the condnct of the officers in charge. 
I think the vessel was the gun-boat Petrel. 

"After the Index was sent back to Glasgow, Captain Mar- 
shall todk charge of the steamer Bouen, and I joined her as 
signal officer. We loaded our cargo and started for Wilming- 
ton, and on the third day out sighted a steamer about 1 o'clock 
p. m., which proved to be the United States steamer Keystone 
State, Avhich captured us after a hot chase of six hours. We 
were all transferred to the Margarei and Jessie, a former 
blockade-runner which had been captured and utilized as a 
cruiser. We wei'e taken to Xew York and confined in the 
Tombs prison. Subsequently all of the officers and crew 
were discharged except four of us, and we were transferred 
to the Ludlow street jail for further investigation. After 
about six weeks imprionment, we succeeded in effecting our 
escape through the medium of English gold, after which we 
went down to East river and found an old barque loaded with 
staves and hay for St. Thomas. Each one of us gave the 
captain $25.00 in gold, with the understanding that he would 
sail by St. George's, Bermuda, and land us there. We 
reached this place after several weeks to find it devastated by 
yellow fever. Many personal friends died with this scourge, 
among whom was o\n- lamented purser of the Index, Mr. Rob- 
ert AYilliams, a well-known native (jf Wilmington, much be- 
loved for his personal qualities. I made one voyage on the 
steamer C.hi'l. which became famous under the command of 
Captain John X. Maffitt. After this I joined the new steel 
steamer Susan Beirne, commanded by Captain Martin, of 
which my old friend and shi]')mate, James Sprunt, was pur- 
ser. After a very hazardous voyage in this ship, during 
which we weathered a fearful gale and nearly foundered, we 
returned to Xassau to learn from Captain Maffitt of the 
steamer Oii-l. which had just arrived, that the last port of the 
Confederacy had l)een closed, and that the war was practi- 
cally over. 

"A small party of almost reckless Confederates, composed 
of our chief engineer. IMr. Lockhart ; our second engineer, 
]\Ir. Carroll : our purser, "S\y. James Sprunt, and the purser 

Blockade Running. 411 

of another steamer in port, Mr. William Green, bought the 
steam launch belonging to our ship, a boat about forty feet 
in length and six feet breadth of beam, and made a perilous 
voyage by way of Green Turtle Cay, to Cape Carnavoral, 
Fla., where they landed in the surf after a two weeks' voyage, 
and proceeding on foot one hundred and seventy-five miles 
to Ocala, Fla., succeeded in evading the Federal pickets and 
sentries at various points along the route, and at last reached 
Wilmington, having occupied about two months on the way. 
I chose an easier and more agreeable route and proceeded 
via jSTew York to visit some relatives in Indiana, returning 
later to Xorth Carolina to find peace restored to our unhappy 
and desolated country." 


One of the most distinguished Englishmen who espoused 
the cause of the South during the Civil War, was the Hon. 
Francis C. Lawley, a kinsman of Gladstone, who was subse- 
quenth' editor of the famous London Telegraph,, and later a 
member of Parliament. He came to General Lee as a Times 
war correspondent, accompanied by Lord Wolsele3\ with 
whom he ran the blockade. The personal devotion of these 
distinguished strangers was warmly reciprocated by the great 
Southern chieftain, to whom both Wplseley and Roberts have 
referred as one of the foremost military leaders in history, 
Wolseley placing General Lee before all others. 

A few years ago Mv. Lawley wrote in his inimitable style 
several ]ia]iers in the daily London Telegrayh on the subject 
of his personal experience in blockade-running. His refer- 
ence to a voyage in my shiji, the Lilian, prior to my appoint- 
ment as purser for three voyages, led to a pleasant correspond- 
ence in which we exchanged notes on the same theme. I 
trust therefore, that this is a sufficient apology to the Tele- 
graph for copying that part of ]\Ir. Lawley's most interest- 
ing allusion to blockade-running at Wilmington : 

"In three previous pa])ers I have described some of the 
adventures which befell Lord Wolseley and myself when en- 
gaged in running the blockade on the Potomac river during 
the American Civil War, and also the hardships endured by 

412 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

the Duke of Devonshire (then Lord Hartington) and Colo- 
nel Charles Leslie, M. P., when they successfully accom- 
plished the same feat in the upper waters of that majestic 
river, which divides the North from the South. Less fortu- 
nate than ourselves, the late Mr. George Lawrence was fired 
upon, wounded and taken prisoner not far from the awful 
gorge where the Potomac cuts its way through the rocks at 
Harper's Ferry, and thence glides rapidly onward to the 
city of Washington. Tt should be premised that my experi- 
ence of blockade-running both by land and sea, as a special 
war corresjiondent between 1862 and 1865, were more exten- 
sive than in my printed account of them I shall ever attempt 
to delineate. All that I now propose to do — I hope without 
wearying my readers — is to contrast the two modes of get- 
ting into and out of the Southern States when, with an en- 
ergy and tenacity which did the Washington Government 
and the gallant soldiers and sailors under its command infin- 
ite credit, it was resolved that were it possible not an ounce 
of quinine or other necessary medicine, not a musket or a 
cannon, not a copper ca]^ or a pound of gunpowder, not a 
tooth brush or a pair of lady's stays — the last two articles 
being in almost universal request before the war had entered 
its third year- — not a suit of uniform or a militarj^ great coat 
should enter Dixie Land from the hour when the blockade 
was proclaimed until the 'rebels' had reached their last ditch. 
Fortunately for the latter, it was not possible, even when the 
war was in its final stage, to prevent courageous and experi- 
enced blockade-runners from slipping through the meshes 
and evading the traps plentifully set to catch them. 

"In every great emergency that arises on a large scale in 
human affairs, a new race or profession of hardy men, and 
occasionally of equally hardy women, springs into existence 
to meet it. I do not believe that any of the soldiers who 
fought in a war wherein the most magnificent courage was 
exhibited on both sides, were braver men than some of the 
captains, officers, engineers and common sailors engaged 
mouth after month and year after year, in defying the block- 
ading fieets and their satellites — the swift cruisers — to keep 
them out of Wilmington, Charleston, Mobile, Galveston, and 

Blockade Running. 41 3 

one or two other Southern ports. A grander school to teach 
sailors their business, and to cultivate in them the presence 
of mind, readiness of resource, iron nerve, grim tenacity, and 
power of magnetizing all around them, which every fresh 
revelation as to Lord JSTelson's wondrous career showed that 
he possessed, it would be impossible to imagine. Let it not 
be forgotten, moreover, that excepting a few Southerners, the 
captains, officers and engineers of the blockade-running craft 
were Englishmen, Scotchmen and Irislimen. Were I to at- 
tempt to pay my humble tribute to each of the captains I 
knew — and I knew them nearly all — who ran into the Cape 
Fear river, upon which Wilmington, in ^N^orth Carolina, 
stands, the space at my command would be exhausted before 
T could begin to do them justice. Their names might be as 
familiar to their compatriots as those of the heroic command- 
ers of the men-of-war that won Copenhagen, the Nile and 
Trafalgar, were it not that the Muse of History is often com- 
pelled to be mute abo\it some of the pluckiest of human 
achievements. Because Captains Hobart, Hewett, Murray- 
Aynsley, and Burgoyne, all of the Royal navy, were obliged 
to change their names and resign their commissions before en- 
gaging in what international law declared to be a surrepti- 
tious trade, they can never share the fame belonging to iSTel- 
son's captains, although in daring and resource they never 
had superiors. More fortunate than the bearers of her Ma- 
jesty's commission, Captain Steele, of England's mercantile 
navy, ran the blockade in his own name more frequently than 
any of his congeners, and all that I have said of Hobart, 
Hewett and Murray- Aynsley — I omit Captain Burgoyne be- 
cause he only made two or three trips — is at least equally 
applicable to Captain Steele (a Yorkshireman ) , and also to 
Captain Wilkinson and Captain Halpin. Wilkinson, a Con- 
federate naval officer, ran the blockade twenty-one times in 
ten months and Halpin, of the British mercantile marine 
was, as a blockade-runner conspicuous for his courage and 
coolness, and afterward commanded the Great Eastern when 
she was laying ocean cables. 'Nor,' to quote from a capital 
paper contributed by the still living Colonel Lamb, of the 
Confederate army, to the Southern Historical Papers, 'must 

414 North Carolina Troops,. 1861-65. 

jilucky Tom Taylor be forgotten, sn])er-eargo of the Banshee 
and the Night tlaivh, who, by his coolness and daring, es- 
caped with a boat's crew from the hands of the Federals, 
after capture olf Fort Fisher, and was endeared to the chil- 
dren of the Confederacy as the Santa Clans of the War.' 
This tribnte to Mr. Thos. E. Taylor, who is happily still 
living, and has lately given the world a fascinating little 
volume called 'Running the Blockade,' is not one whit hand- 
somer than he deserves. 

"There are four works more or less upon the same subject 
as that to which ]Mr. Thos. E. Taylor devotes his pen, Avhich 
should be carefully studied by those — may I include the 
Board of Admiralty among them? — who wish to understand 
the blockade and its lessons aright. The first is by Prof. J. 
R. Soley, of the United States Navy, and is called 'The 
Blockade and the Cruisers.' It was published at New York 
by Charles Scrilmers &: Sons, in 1883. The second is 'Never 
Caught; or Personal Adventures Connected with Twelve 
Successful Trips in Blockade Punning During the American 
Civil War, 1863-'64,' by Captain Roberts, alias Captain 
the Hon. Augustus Hobart, afterwards Hobart Pasha. It 
was published by John Camden Hotten (London) in 1867. 
The third is 'The Secret Service of the Confederate States in 
Europe ; or How the Confederate Cruisers Were Equipped,' 
by James I). Bulloch, naval representative of the Confeder- 
ate States in Europe during the Civil War ; two volumes pub- 
lished by Richard Bentley (London) in 1883. The fourth 
is 'Running the Blockade ; a Personal Narrative of Adven- 
tures, Risks and Escapes During the American Civil War/ 
by Thomas E. Taylor, published by John Murray (London), 

"Three out of the four are written \)\ sympathizers with 
the Southern cause, the fourth by Prof. Soley, of the United 
States Navy. Of the four, perhaps the most valuable contri- 
bution to universal history is Ca]itain Bulloch's 'Secret Ser- 
vice of the Confederate States in Europe;' as in addition to 
revealing much about the blockade, hoAv it was maintained 
and how it was violated, there is in it some useful informa- 
tion as to how the Confederate agents in Europe managed 

Blockade Kunning. 415 

to get the Alabama^ the Florida and other armed cruisers to 
sea ; how their crews Avere engaged and their armaments put 
on board ; how thev succeeded in coaling and taking in pro- 
visions, and many other important items with which the 
British Admiralty ouglit to he thciroughly familiar. There 
cannot be the smallest doul>t that in the event of England 
being engaged in a big war, any amount of pirate vessels — 
the phrase universally applied ])y the ambassadors, politi- 
cians, and newspapers of the Xorth tn the Alabama, Florida, 
Sumter and their sisters — w<ju]d issue fr<jm American ports 
under the banner of the belligerent opposing us, and seek to 
drive English commerce oJf the seas, as effectually as a few 
British-built cruisers carrying the Confederate flag dealt with 
the commercial ships of the Northern States between 1861 
and 1805. 'Cajitain Bulloch's two volumes are written in a 
thoroughly fair and honest spirit, aiid the reports of trials in 
the prize courts of the United Kingdom, of its colonies and 
of foreign countries, and other official documents, speeches 
and dispatches which they C(jntain give the work a value 
which within the same compass cannot elsewhere be found. 
Let us take the following quotation as an example: 

" 'The Alabama left Liverpool on 29 July, 1862. She 
w^as commissioned oif the island of Terceira on 24 August, 
and kept at sea almost incessantly for two years. During 
that period she was rarely in harbor and never long enough to 
effect a thorough overhauling of rigging, hull or engines. 
While cruising she Avas mostly kept under sail with screw up, 
but was purposely taken to the great thoroughfare of Ameri- 
can marine traffic where it was reasonable to expect that 
United States warships would be sent to keep guard. Hence 
she was in constant expectation of having to run or to fight. 
Any morning's light might find her close to an enemy's ship, 
and prudence required a sharji lookout and constant readi- 
ness. Her engines got rest, but her boilers none. The fires 
were never allowed to go wholly out, but were banked ; and 
the water was kept in such condition that steam might be 
quickly got up. The chief engineer has since told me that 
rarely had he an opportunity to cool the boilers and clean 
flues and pipes. A great portion of her cruising was in the 

416 North Carolina Troops, l861-'6o. 

tropics, although she faced every climate. The icy fogs of 
the Xewfounclland banks, the steaming moisture of the equa- 
torial belt, the burning sun of the Malacca and China Seas, 
all these in quick succession tested her endurance and qual- 
ity. The wear and tear of such a cruise, with no means to 
repair injuries except what might be found in captured ves- 
sels, told upon the little craft at last, so that early in 1864 
Captain Semmes began to think of her requirements, and 
coming back round the Cape of Good Hope into the Atlan- 
tic, worked leisurely up through the paths of commerce, cap- 
turing a -prize now and then, but finding few^; for by that 
time the American mercantile flag had well nigh disap- 

''This passage will, 1 hope, call renewed attention in influ- 
ential quarters 1o Captain Bulloch's monumental work. But 
justice requires that I should turn to its correlative from a 
Northern pen, and afterwards to their tAvo lighter sisters. 
Prof. Soley's little book is valuable, because, published eigh- 
teen years after the end of the war, it gives authoritative 
statements of the strength of the Northern Navy in March, 
1S61, and Avliat it greA\' to in March, 186.5. Eighteen sail- 
ing vessels and twenty-seven steamers (forty-two in all), 
was the available complement at the beginning, and 671 ves- 
sels of all kinds at the end of the war. 'In 1865,' writes 
Prof. Soley, 'there were 7,600 officers and 50,000 seamen in 
the naval service of the Federal Government.' The work 
should also be studied because it gives a capital description 
of the four intermediary points, Bermuda, Nassau, Plavana 
and Matamoras, from which the neutral trade into and out 
of the South was conducted. Every detail, showing the ut- 
ter inadequacy of the Northern navy with only 42 vessels 
(37 of which were modern) to maintain at first an effective 
blockade over more than 3,000 miles of indented coast, is 
given with perfect frankness by Prof. Soley, and his book is 
as fair and reasonable as that of Captain Bulloch, though 
not quite so entertaining. 

"The 'Never Caught' of Captain Eoberts and the 'Running 
the Blockade' of Mr. Thomas E. Taylor, are equally amus- 
ing ; but tlie latter is of higher value and more full of instruc- 

Blockade Running. 417 

tion than its tinv predecessor. Hobart Pasha Avas born to 
be a pirate, and in self-conhdence and audacity none could 
surpass him. Mr. Taylor, on the other hand, though quite 
as brave as tlie object of his well deserved admiration. Cap- 
tain Steele, or as tliat universal favorite. Admiral Aynesley- 
Murray (who called liimself for the purpose of the blockade 
Captain Murray, and was one of the most undemonstratively 
courageous men that I ever came across), possessed little of 
the bounce of Ilobart Pasha. For instance, 'Punning the 
Blockade' would have l)een better without its introduction, 
which, although intended apparentlv to serve as an endorse- 
ment, is the least satisfactoi-y part of the little volume. Oth- 
erwise, Mr. Taylor's 17() pages are so modest and so full of 
interest that they might safely he recommended for Christ- 
mas reading to old and young. It is high time, however, in 
order to justify the words at the head of this paper, that I 
should now give my own experience in connection with the 
first time that I ran the blockade inwards by sea. 

"p]arly in 1864 I started from lliclimond, in Virginia, 
and making my way across the Potomac, reached Xew York 
via Washington, without mishap, though I had a still nar- 
rower escape from capture at ^Larlborough, in ^[aryland, 
than that from which Lord Wolseley, and I emerged un- 
scathed about seventeen months before near Port Tobacco, 
and which I have already described in another paper. Upon 
the twentieth day after I left Richmond, I landed on Brit- 
ish soil at Liverpool, and can well remember how 'the sacred 
calm that lu-eathed around' as T journeyed on a lovely sum- 
mer ni'iht from J^iver])0ol to London, contrasted with the 
constant roar of angry cannon, the rattle of musketry, and the 
thousand daily incidents of grim-visaged war which I had 
just left behind me. After passing nearly four months in 
Europe, half in England and half in Rome, I started again 
from Liverpool for 'Secessia,' where, in truth, my heart, 
touched by the splendid courage of her sons and the tender- 
ness and devotion of her daughters, had remained all the time 
of my absence. As I was carrying back with me to Rich- 
mond several presents, such as books for Mr. Jefferson Davis 
and My. Benjamin, and little souvenirs to be given to some 

418 North Carolina Troops, 1861 -'Go. 

few of my friends in the field, it was impossible to mm the 
blockade by the Potomac. All that yon could carry with 
yon by land was a small valise, called in Yankee language a 
'grip-sack,' in which moreover, you had to take good care 
to have no compromising documents. I resolved therefore, 
to run in by sea, knowing that 1 should be able to carry any 
aniduiit <if luggage on board a blockade-runner. Upon 15 
May, ls<»4, 1 started from Queenstown for Halifax, Nova 
Scotia, on board the Cunard royal mail steaiuship China, 
passing on from Halifax to Bermuda in a small commercial 
steamer — how she did roll ! — belonging to the same great 
steamship company. Among the funny coincidences of the 
war and its adjuncts that still dwell in my memory, I re- 
member that acording to the invariable practice of the Cun- 
ard line, all hands on board were summoned to attend divine 
service in the saloon on Sunday morning. The captain, an 
engaging little fellow, and a brother Yorkshireman of mine, 
who talked in the broad Dijric of that noble county with as 
rich an accent as that of Sim Templeton, the jockey, or of 
the late IMr. Dudley Milner, or of the present Countess of 
Wharnecliffe when she imitates the Yorkshire dialect, had, 
of course, to read the service, to Avhich, by the way, I have 
often listened with delight on one of the big Cunarders be- 
tween Xew York and Liverpool, and never have I heard it 
better read than by old Commodore Judkins, or by that 
j^rince of good fellows, Captain Shannon. I saw from the 
first that the ca]^tain was very nervous, but after sundry 
halts and try-backs we got successfully to the First Lesson. 
It was a chapter of Isaiah, containing two or three long 
names in the first verse, at which for a moment the poor little 
man gazed helplessly, then suddenly thrusting the Bible in. 
my hand, bolted from the saloon. Of course, I had no alter- 
native but to read the lesson and finished the rest of the ser- 
vice, as there was obviously no animus rcvertendi on the part 
of the sacred fugitive. 

"On arriving atBermuda — aslovely a little group of islands 
as eye could rest upon — I found that the same good luck 
which throughout the war attended my blockade-running ef- 
forts, did not desert me on this occasion. Two brand new 

Blockade Running. 419 

vessels, both built l)y ]\Iessrs. Thompson, of Glasgow, and 
both credited with behaving during their voyage out from 
England like capital sea boats, lay in the harbor of Hamil- 
ton, Bermuda, ready to sail next day for Wilmington, in 
I^orth Carolina. The distance in a bee line is 674 miles, 
and by that time, more than two years after the commence- 
ment of the war, the sea Avas alive with fast Yankee cruisers, 
of all sizes and descriptions. From the moment that a 
blockade-runner left Bermuda or Xassau, she v\'as liable to 
be sighted by the Yanderhilt, or by the James Adger, or some 
other fourteen or fifteen-knot boat, which allowed her to get 
some hundred miles out to sea, so that she could not double 
back and take shelter in a British port, and then went for her, 
as poor Bromley- Davenport sings, 'With the Rush of the Lim- 
ited Mail.^ Fortunately by that time the builders of the 
light gossamer craft, with three funnels apiece (the only 
strong and heavy articles in them being their big, tubular 
boilers, capable of standing a tremendous pressure of steam), 
knew how to send blockade-runners out to sea with a knot or 
two more per hour 'up tlieir sleeves' than their fastest pur- 
suers could boast. 

''Two shi]is, the Lilian and the Florie. lay in Hamilton 
harl)or when I entered it on the last day of May, 1864. They 
seemed like a couj^le of beautiful steam yachts of about 500 
tons, I'ul without rigging. They were painted a dull, leaden 
grey color, to make them as invisible as possible at sea. Their 
engines were, of course, in tip-top order ; plentiful sup])lies 
of Welsh steam coal brought out from England, enabled them 
to fill their bunkers just before starting. The weather was 
beautiful and everything portended a swift and successful 
trip. The only question still to be decided was to which of 
the two should T commit my fortunes. Both were to start 
for Wilmington next day, 1 June, and each claimed to be 
faster than the other. The same company owned both, and 
bets had lieen freely made by their respective crews as to 
which would reach Wilmington first. The Lilian was com- 
manded by Captain ]\[affitt. an officer of the United States 
l^avy before the war, who, however, being a jSTorth Caroli- 
nian, had followed his State when she seceded from the 

420 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

Union. I knew that Captain Maffitt was a favorite of Gen- 
eral Lee, who was always glad to relieve the strain upon his 
mind by listening to his old friend's sea yarns, and one glance 
at his resolute, straightforward face made me determine that 
I would go with him. He was, in truth, a fine specimen of a 
Carolina sailor, and the more I saw of him during our short 
three days and four nights voyage, the more I liked him. 

"We started in the evening almost abreast of the Florie, owr 
sister ship, with which we kept company until darkness fell. 
The sea was like a mill dam. What wind there was blew 
from the right quarter, and during that first night, our little 
company of passengers, eight in number, enjoyed themselves 
as Englishmen and Americans always do when there is a 
spice of danger and adventure in the job upon which they 
have embarked. The cool sea breeze was delightfully re- 
freshing after the hot coral rocks of Bermuda, and no vigi- 
lant Yankee steamer, such as the Rhode Island, from whose 
too strenuous attentions many a blockade-running vessel had 
suffered on putting forth from Bermuda, seemed to be in pur- 
suit. We all slept like tops, and when morning came a fairer 
sight than that which presented itself never had met my eyes 
at sea. Not a vessel was anywhere visible to the lookout 
perch — aloft in the crow's nest, the Florie had disappeared, 
the sea sparkled in the glorious sunshine, and lots of flying 
fish, the first that I had ever seen, emerged from the ocean, 
and after a short, sharp flight of two or three hundred yards 
dropped again into the billowy depths. I confess that I was 
never tired of watching them, much to Captain Maffitt's 
amusement, who had seen more than enough of flying fish 
when in command of the Orcto, afterwards the Florida,, with 
which he audaciously ran into IMobile in broad daylight, and 
although cut to ribands by the heavy short-distance fire of the 
blockaders, got safely through without being sunk, and 
moored his little vessel at Mobile wharf, more than thirty 
miles distant from Fort ^Morgan, the Confederate fort which 
guarded the entrance to Mobile Bay and kept the blockaders 
at a respectful distance. 

"Tieturning to the 'airy, fairy Lilian' we had got about 
8.50 miles away from Bermuda, when Captain Maffitt's quick 

Blockade Running. 421 

eye discerned a sail n]50ii our port bow, enveloped in a dense 
canopy of smoke. She lay in a part of the ocean continually 
swept by Federal cruisers, and our wily captain well knew 
that nowhere was more guile displayed by both belligerents 
than in connection with blockade-running. The vessel might 
very likely prove a trap to lure the Lilian on to her destruc- 
tion, but after carefully scrutinizing her through his glasses, 
Captain Maffitt came to the conclusion that she might be on 
fire. Time was ineffably precious to us, but after generously 
exclaiming, 'jSTo luck can betide a vessel which leaves a com- 
rade in distress at sea,' our humane captain ordered our 
course to be altered, and bore doAvn upon the stranger. She 
was soon made out to be a Federal cruiser, emitting a dense 
white cloud with her Cumberland coal and beating rapidly 
eastward iii pursuit of another outward bound delinquent. 
The Lilian s helm was therefore changed and she resumed 
*>er original course. 

"]\[eantime the fine weather had deserted us, and the noon 
of our third day out was so dull and dark that it was impos- 
sible to take an observation. It was generally believed by 
the captain and his officers that ere day dawned on the fol- 
lowing morning it was possible that we might make a run 
into Wilmington, and ouAvard we pressed. The Lilian's sharp 
bow seemed to cleave the waves like a razor, and the exhilar- 
ation of flying through the water at a speed which defied pur- 
suit, raised onr spirits to such a pitch, that Charles Mackay 
and Henry Kussell's famons old song, 'There's a Good Time 
Coming, Boys I' Inirst in chorns from our lips, followed by 
such familiar Confederate war strains as — 

" 'Then let the big guns roar as they will, 
We'll be gay and happy still ; 
Gay and happy, free and easy, 
We'll be gay and happy still.' 

"By the way, poor Frank Vizetelly used to substitute for 
the third line 'Free and easy, fat and greasy,' the last words 
being only too suggestive of his own appearance on a- hot Sum- 
mer day. 

"Before long, however, the captain silenced our ill-timed 
mirth, and soon our position, as we drew nearer and nearer 

422 North Caeolina Troops, 186] -'65. 

to the land, became too excited to admit of irrelevant ebul- 

''It was impossible at such a moment to withhold one's 
admiration from the fitness of the vessel nnder our feet for 
the purpose for which she had been built, and also for the 
perfection of the system under which she was handled, and 
which experience had already shown to be necessary to give 
her and her consorts every chance of success. When night 
fell, not a single light was visible in any part of the ship, 
and no one under any circumstances was allowed to smoke, 
lest his cigar or cigarette or pipe might be seen by a lookout 
on board of one of our vigilant enemies. Steam was blown 
off under water, our coal made no visible smoke, and our 
feathering paddles no noise ; our hull rose only a few feet 
out of the water ; our only spars were two short loW'er masts 
with no yards, and only a small crow's nest in the foremast. 
The forward deck was constructed in the form of a turtle back 
to enable the Lilian to go through a heavy sea. Our start 
from Bermuda was so well timed that a moonless night and 
high tide were secured for our running into Wilmington. 
For the rest, we trusted to our speed, which, as will shortly 
be seen, saved our vessel next day from capture, and ourselves 
from the distinguished honor of passing a few months as pris- 
oners in the Old Capitol, or in a fort off Boston or Balti- 
more harbor. The blockading vessels, too, were admirably 
managed. No lights were carried by them except on board 
one vessel, that in which the Flag-Admiral sailed. She 
changed her position every night, and the absence of strong 
lights on shore, discernible two or three miles away from 
Fort Fisher, greatly augmented the difficulty of hitting New 
Inlet, a narrow channel leading into the Cape Fear river. 
Moreover, the vessels which maintained the blockade were pro- 
vided with calcium or other incandescent lights, which they 
flashed forth on the slightest provocation, and also with rock- 
ets which they let off in the direction a blockade-runner 
was taking, — talking to each other, in fact, with colored 
lights at night as effectually as they did with signals by day. 

"It will readily be imagined that during our third night out 
from Bermuda, going to bed was far from our thoughts. The 

Blockade Running. 423 

night wore rapidly away; 2 o'clock, 3 o'clock, 3:30 came, 
but no eye peering through the thick gloom could descry the 
light on top of the mound at Fort Fisher. Then, as morn- 
ing dawned. Captain Maffitt stopped his engines and pre- 
pared to lay to for the day between the outer and inner cordon 
of blockaders. It was too much to hope that for sixteen or 
seventeen hours of broad daylight we could escape observa- 
tion in that cruiser-haunted neighborhood ; nevertheless from 
four in the morning till 1 :30 p. m., we were unmolested. 
Then the tall masts of a big steamer, her immense paddle 
wheels and lofty, black hull hove in sight from the direction 
of Wilmington, going at full speed, and by the keen eyes on 
board her, the little Lilian was instantly descried. Before 
we could get up steam fully, our gigantic enemy drew un- 
comfortably near, and orders were given to have all the mail 
bags carried by the Lilian made ready, in case of capture, 
to be dropped with Aveights attached to them, into the all de- 
vouring ocean. Several shots flew over our heads or dropped 
by our side, but going at such a pace it is not easy to hit a lit- 
tle vessel with projectiles fired from the unstable platform 
of a pursuer going fifteen knots an hour through a lumpy sea. 
''Presently our beautiful little craft began to answer in 
earnest to the driving power within her, as a thoroughbred 
horse gallantly responds to the spur of his rider. As the pres- 
sure of steam ascended from fifteen pounds to twenty, from 
twenty to twenty-three, from twenty-three to twenty-six, and 
as the revolutions of the paddle mounted from tvrenty-six to 
twenty-eight, from twenty-eight to thirty-three per minute, 
the little vessel flew out to sea swift as a startled wild duck. 
Before two and a half hours had passed the hull of the big 
Yankee was invisible and her top-gallant sails a mere speck 
on the distant horizon. As, however, she and doubtless oth- 
ers of her sisters lay between us and Wilmington, it became 
necessary to run around them. Our helm accordingly was 
changed and as the sun dropped into the sea our pursuer, 
though a long way off, still hung upon our rear. There was 
nothing for it but to stick to our course ; but such had been 
the speed of our flight that the inside blockading squadron 
was clearly sighted by us before the close of the day. Grim 

424 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

and forbidding enough in all conscience the hlack hulls looked 
and so close did they lie to each other that it seemed hoping 
against hope to expect that a little craft like ours would 
pass unscathed between them or among them, taking the fire 
of two or three broadsides at little more than pistol range, or 
that she could eventually escape destruction at the hands of 
such formidable antagonists. But in command we had a 
captain who, in broad day, had braved the worst that the 
blockaders off Mobile coukl do to the little Oreto, without 
being scared or sunk. It is at such moments that you realize 
how paramount is the influence of a dauntless chief upon all 
around him ; and it is felt more in so confined a space as the 
deck of a ship than in a great battle on land. Nevertheless, 
we could not but perceive — indeed, Captain Maffitt's anxious 
face plainly told us so — that our position was far from com- 
fortable, pursued as we were by a vessel a few miles off to 
the rear, which clearly saw us, and, swiftly approaching a 
powerful squadron of heavily armed blockaders, which had 
not yet caught sight of the Lilian's two masts, but might do so 
at any moment. 

"Fortunately for us, befoi*e we got close in, night fell. The 
crews on board the blockaders were taking their evening meal 
as w^e approached them, and I suppose the lookout were not 
quite so sharp as they undoubtedly became before the end of 
the war. Xot a moment was lost by Captain Maffitt, or by 
our excellent pilot, a Wilmington man, when darkness had 
fairly settled upon the face of the deep. Silently, and with 
bated breath we crept slowly in, passing blockader after 
blockadcr so close that at every moment we expected a liril- 
liant light to flash forth, turning night into day, and fol- 
lowed by a hurricane of shot' and shell, which mio-ht easily 
have torn the little Lilian to pieces. It was destined, how- 
ever, that upon this occasion she was not to receive her bap- 
tism of fire, for the shots sent after her by her big Yankee 
pursuer hardly deserve the name. Just as we approached 
the big mound, close to which Fort Fisher stands, a dark spot 
was discerned on the bar. It was a Federal launch groping' 
for secrets, or ])erliaps sinking rocks and other obstructions 
into the channel immediatelv under the fire of Fort Fisher's 

Blockade Running. 425 

guns. I am afraid that if Captain Maffitt had seen her a lit- 
tle earlier he would have run her down. As matters stood, 
the launch escaped, and those on board were either too much 
scared to fire a musketr}- volley into us, or reluctant to do so, 
as Fort Fisher woukl doid^tless have opened upon them, and, 
as I had many subsequent opportunities of ascertaining, her 
guns were seldom fired without effect upon any object within 
their range. 

"Another moment, and we lay safe and sound below the 
mound, eagerly asking for news from within the Confeder- 
acy, and as eagerly questioned in our turn for news from 
without. The welcome extended to us by Colonel Lamb, 
commandant of the fort, and one of the most lovable men in 
existence, was so hearty that he made us regard entering the 
mouth of the Cape Fear river as tantamount to returning 
home. Moreover the Florie had not yet arrived, which 
raised the spirits of the Liliamies to fever heat." 

Another of the distinguished commanders of blockade- 
running steamers was Cajitain Rolierts (so called), of the 
twin screw steamer Don, a quick, handy little boat, admirably 
adapted to the trade. I had the pleasure of knoAving him 
personally through frequent intercourse with liis signal of- 
ficer, a fine young fellow named Seldon, from Virginia, and 
we were much impressed with the superior bearing and in- 
telligence of this remarkable man, who afterwards liecauie 
famous in tlie war bet^ween Russia and Turkey as Hoba^i 
Pasha, Admiral and Chief of the Turkish Xavy. 

''Captain Roberts" was the Hon. Augustus Charles Hobart 
Hampden (son of the Earl of Buckinghamshire), post cap- 
tain in the Royal Xavy and for a time commander of Queen 
Victoria's yacht Victoria coid Albert. He had seen service 
in the war between Emperor Xicholas, France and Great 
Britain in 1854, under the great Admiral Sir Charles Xa- 
pier. wlipu lie couuiKinded H. ]\[. S. Driver, and after the 
geiieral order, "Lads, sharpen your cutlasses," boarded the 
Russian warships before Cronstadt, stormed the seven forts 
which guarded the entrance to that harbor and sailed u]i the 
Xeva even to St. Petersljurg itself. Having made several 
runs into Wilmington durinff his absence from England on 

420 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

leave, he returned home, and fretting under the dull routine 
of service ashore, accepted the command of the entire Turkish 
Nav}', at the outbreak of the war with his old antagonists, the 
Russians. He died in 1886 and was buried in the English 
Cemetery at Scutari. Following is his account of adventures 
in blockade-running to Wilmington : 

"We left the quay at Wilmington, cheered by the hurrahs 
of our brother blockade-runners, who were taking in and dis- 
charging their cargoes, and steamed a short distance down the 
river, where we were boarded to be searched and smoked. 
This latter extraordinary proceeding, called for, perhaps, by 
the existing state of affairs, took me altogether aback. That 
a smoking apparatus should be applied to a cargo of cotton 
seemed almost astounding. But it was so ordered, the object 
being to search for runaways, and, strange to say, its efficacy 
was apparent, when, after an hour or more's application of 
the process (which was by no means a gentle one) an unfortu- 
nate wretch, crushed almost to death by the closeness of his 
hiding place, poked with a long stick until his ribs must have 
been like touchwood, and smoked the color of a backwoods 
Indian, was dragged hj the heels into daylight, ignomin- 
ously put into irons and hurled into the guard boat. This 
discovery nearly caused the detention of the vessel on suspi- 
cion of our being the accomplice of a runaway ; but after some 
deliberation, we were allowed to go on. 

''Having steamed down the river a distance of about 20 
miles, we anchored at 2 o'clock in the afternoon near its 
mouth. We were hidden by Fort Fisher from the blockading 
squadron lying off the bar, there to remain till some time 
after nightfall, i^fter we anchored we went on shore to 
take a peep at the enemy from the batteries. Its command- 
ant, a fine, dashing young Confederate officer (Colonel 
Lamb), who was a firm friend of blockade-runners, accom- 
panied us around the fort. We counted twenty-five vessels 
imder way ; some of them occasionally ventured within 
range, but no sooner had one of them done so than a shot 
was thrown so unpleasantly near that she at once moved out 

"We were much struck with the weakness of Fort Fisher, 

Blockade Running. 427 

which, with a garrison of 1,200 men, and only half finished, 
could have easily been taken at any time since the war began 
by a resolute body of 5,000 men making a night attack. It is 
true that at the time of its capture it was somewhat stronger 
than at the time T visited it, but even then its garrison was 
comparative^ small, and its defences unfinished. I fancy 
the bold front so long shown by its occupiers had much to do 
with the fact that such an attack was not attempted till just 
befoi'e the close of the war. 

^'The time chosen for our starting was 11 o'clock, at which 
hour the tide was at its highest on the bar at the entrance of 
the river. Fortunately the moon set about 10 and as it was 
very cloudy we had every reason to expect a pitch-dark night. 
There were two or three causes that made one rather more 
nervous on this occasion than when leaving Bermuda. 

"In the first place, five minutes after we had crossed the 
bar we should be in the thick of the blockaders, who always 
closed nearer in on the very dark nights. Secondly, our 
cargo of cotton was of more im]iortance than the goods we 
carried in ; and thirdly, it was the thing to do to make the 
double trip in and out safely. There were also all manner 
of re]iorts of the new jilans that had been arranged by a zeal- 
ous Commodore lately sent from Xew York to catch us all. 
However, it was of no use canvassing these questions, so at a 
quarter of 11 we weighed anchor and steamed down to the 
entrance of the river. 

"Very faint lights, Avhich could not be seen far at sea, were 
set on the beach in the same ])osition as I have heretofore de- 
scribed, baring been thus ]ilaced for vessels coming in; and 
bringing these astern in exact line, that is, the two into one, 
we knew that we were in the passage for going over the bar. 
The order was then given, 'Full speed ahead,' and we shot 
at a grand speed out to sea. 

"Our troubles began almost immediately; for the cruisers 
had placed a rowing barge, which could not be seen by the 
forts, close to the entrance, to signalize the direction which 
any vessel that came out might take. This was done by rock- 
ets being thrown up by a designed plan from the barge. We 
had hardlv cleared the bar when we saw this boat very near 

428 North Carolina Troops, 1861 -'65. 

our bows, nicely placed to be nin clean over, and as we were 
going about fourteen knots her chance of escape would have 
been small had we been inclined to finish her. Changing the 
helm, which I did mvself, a couple of spokes just took us 
clear. We passed so close that 1 could have dropped a biscuit 
into the boat with ease. 1 heard the crash of broken oars 
against our sides ; not a word was spoken. 

^'T strongly suspect every man in that boat held his breath 
till the great white avalanche of cotton, rushing by so un- 
pleasantly near, had passed (piite clear of her. 

"HoAvever, they seemed very soon to have recovered them- 
selves, for a minute had scarcely passed before up went a 
rocket, which I tlionght a very ungrateful proceeding on their 
part. But they only did their duty, and perhaps they did 
not know how nearly they had escaped beino- made food for 
fishes. On the rocket being throAvn up, a gun was fired un- 
commonly close to us, but as we did not hear any shot, it may 
have been only a signal to cruisers to keep a shar]) look-out. 

"We steered a mile or two near the coast, always edging a 
little to the eastward, and then shaped our course straight 
out to sea. Several gmns were fired in the pitch darkness 
very near us. (I am not qnite sure whether some of the 
blockaders did not occasionally pepper each other.) After 
an hour's fast steaming, we felt moderately safe, and by the 
morning had a good ofiing. 

"Daylight lu'oke with thick, hazy weather, nothing being 
in sight. We went on all right \nitil 8 loO o'clock, when the 
weather cleared u]\ and there was a large paddle-wheel 
cruiser (that we must have passed very near to in the thick 
Aveather) alxmt six miles astern of us. The moment she saw 
us she gave chase. After running for a quarter of an hour, 
it was evident that with our heavy cargo on board, the cruiser 
had the legs of us, and as there was a long day before us for 
the chase, things looked badly. We moved some cotton aft 
to immerse our screws well, but still the cruiser was steadily 
decreasing her distance from us, when an incident of a very 
curious nature favored us for a time. 

"It is mentioned in the book of sailing directions that the 
course of the Gulf Stream fin the vicinitv of which we knew 

Blockade Running. 429 

we wei-e) is in calm weatlier and smooth water plainly marked 
out by a ripple on its inner and onter edges. We clearly 
saw, about a mile ahead of ns, a remarkable ripple, which we 
rightly, as it turned out, conjectured, was that referred to in 
the book. ^Vs soon as we crossed it, we steered the usual 
course of the current of the Gulf Stream, that here ran for 
two or three miles an hour. Seeing us alter our course, the 
cruiser did. the same; but she had not crossed the ripple on 
the edge of the stream, and the course she was now steering 
tended to keep her for some time from doing so. The result 
soon made it evident that the observations in the book were 
correct; for until she too crossed the ripple into the stream, 
we dropped her rapidly astern, whereby we increased our dis- 
tance to at least seven miles. 

"It was now noon, from which time the enemy again be- 
gan to close with us, and at 5 o'clock was not more than three 
miles distant. At o'clock she opened a liarmless fire with 
the Parrot gun in her bow, the shot falling far short of us. 
At sunset at 6 :4r., she had got so near that she managed to 
send two or three shots over us, and was steadily coming up. 

''Luckily, as night came on, the weather became very 
cloudy and we were on the dark side of the moon, now setting 
in the west, which occasionally breaking through the clouds 
astern of the cruiser, showed us all her movements, while we 
must have been very difficult to make out, though certainly 
not more than a mile off. All this time she kept firing away, 
thinking, I suppose, that she would frighten us into stopping. 
If we had gone straight on, we should doubtless have been 
caught, so Ave altered our course two points to the eastward. 
After steaming a short distance we stopped quite still, blow- 
ing off steam under water, not a spark or the slightest smoke 
showing from the funnel ; and we had the indescribable sat- 
isfaction of seeing our enemy steam past us, still firing ahead 
at some imaginary vessel. 

''This had been a most exciting chase and a very narrow 
escape ; night only saved us from a New York prison. All 
this hard running had made an awful hole in our coal bunk- 
ers, and as it was necessary to keep a stock for a run off the 
blockaded Bahama Islands, we were obliged to reduce our ex- 

430 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

penditnre to as small a quantity as possible. However, we 
were well out to sea, and after having passed the line of 
cruisers between Wihnington and Bermuda, we had not much 
to fear till we approached the British possessions of !N'assau 
and the adjacent islands, where two or three very fast Amer- 
ican vessels were cruising", although 500 miles from American 
waters. I am ignorant, I confess, of the laws of blockade, 
or indeed if a law there be that allows its enforcement, and 
penalties to be enacted, 500 miles aAvay from the ports block- 
aded. But it did seem strange that the men-of-war of a na- 
tion at peace with England should be allowed to cruise off her 
ports, to stop and examine trading vessels of all descriptions, 
to capture and send to Xew York, for adjudication, vessels on 
the mere suspicion of their being intended block